Quiz 7: Where It Startsphotosynthesis


Photosynthesis is a process by which energy-rich biological compounds are synthesized by a series of chemical reactions. These reactions require a carbon source, water and energy. The carbon source is the atmospheric CO ₂ , while the energy source is the light. Water in combination with CO ₂ is converted into sugars along with the release of water and oxygen. The bulk of the vegetable matter, that constitute the biomass as comprising of several organic compounds are synthesized through a variety of metabolic processes from the initial energy-rich compounds that are produced by photosynthesis. Thus, Jan Baptista van Helmont was misguided because he considered water as the only source of all the biomass for trees and the fact that water was used as one of the inputs for photosynthesis to occur took more time to be discovered.

Autotrophs have the capacity to fix solar energy and are the first trophic level in an ecosystem. Autotrophs can utilize solar energy and synthesize energy-rich organic compounds that are utilized by the autotrophs and all the other trophic levels. Photosynthetic autotrophs use carbon dioxide from the air as a carbon source and light as their energy source.

In the given example, the trophic levels and their feeding patterns are as follows: • Cat ate a bird • Bird ate a caterpillar • Caterpillar chewed weeds Autotrophs are those life forms that can synthesize their own energy-rich organic compounds. The autotrophic organisms in the above example are the weeds, belonging to the first in the trophic level of organization. Heterotrophs are those life forms cannot synthesize their own energy-rich organic compounds, but depend on other life forms for their source of energy-rich compounds. The heterotrophic organisms in the above example are the caterpillar, bird and the cat.

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