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To investigate how the rate of photosynthesis changes at different
light intensities, with a pondweed.
I predict that the oxygen bubbles will decrease when the lamp is
further away from the measuring cylinder, because light intensity is a
factor of photosynthesis. The plant may stop photosynthesising when
the pondweed is at the furthest distance from the lamp (8cm). Without
light, the plant will stop the photosynthesising process, because,
light is a limited factor. However once a particular light intensity
is reached the rate of photosynthesis stays constant, even if the
light intensity is the greatest. If I plot distance of the lamp,
against the number of bubbles per 2 minuets, I will get a straight
linear graph which will not go through the origin.
Photosynthesis is the process by which green plants use light to
synthesize organic compounds from carbon dioxide and water. In the
process oxygen and water are released. The glucose produced in the
photosynthesis reaction can be converted to sucrose and carried to
other parts of the plant in phloem vessels. Glucose can also be
converted into starch and stored (the starch can later be turned back
into glucose and used in respiration). Oxygen is a 'waste' product of
photosynthesis. Photosynthesis takes place in the mesophyll cells
inside a green plant's leaves.
6 CO2 + 6 H2O givesC6H12O6 + 6 O2
Carbon Dioxide + Water gives Glucose + Oxygen
A limiting factor is one that controls a process, such as organism
growth or species population size or distribution. In photosynthesis
the rate is affected by three factors, temperature, carbon dioxide
concentration and light. Not enough light can slow down the rate of
photosynthesis, without enough light a plant cannot photosynthesise
very fast, even if there is plenty of water and carbon dioxide.
Increasing the light intensity will make photosynthesis faster.
In this experiment there are a few things we have to keep the same.
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The light intensity is the one thing I am investigating in this
experiment I have to change the measurements after every 2 minutes,
this is done by moving the lamp at set distances, my distances were 5
cm, 8 cm, 11 cm, 14 cm and 17 cm. We have to keep a few things in this
experiment the same, the same plant, the same apparatus, the same time
for adjustments (2 mins), the time has to be the same for the amount
of bubbles that are counted. The same temperature, the same lamp
directions, these have to be kept the same, to make sure that you are
only investigating the light intensity and not anything else. The
outcome is the number of oxygen bubbles given of in 2 minutes.
· Measuring cylinders
· Stop watch/ clock
· Distilled water
· Paper clip
· Sodium bicarbonate for producing carbon dioxide
· Take a measuring cylinder and fill it up with distilled water.
· Add a spatula full of sodium bicarbonate.
· Pick a pondweed that has a healthy green stem.
· Put a paper clip at the end of the pondweed, to make sure that the
pondweed stays down.
· Place the lamp next the measuring cylinder, measure out 5 cm (this
is my first measurements).
· Wait till the pondweed starts photosynthesising.
· When there is a steady pace of bubbles, start timing and counting.
· Time the bubbles for 3 minuets and record the results.
· Repeat this with 8 cm, 11 cm, 14 cm, and 17 cm.
· Repeat this 3 more times so you get 3 sets of results.
Table of results:
Number of bubbles
In 1 min
Number of bubbles
In 1 min
Number of bubbles
In 1 min
*The Rate of Photosynthesis is the number of seconds it takes for 1
bubble of Oxygen (O2) to appear, i.e. the number of seconds between
two bubbles of Oxygen (O2).
The averages of the results are shown in the table below:
Average of bubbles of oxygen given of in 1 min
Average number of oxygen bubbles given off:
Text Box: Number of oxygen bubbles
Text Box: Number of oxygen bubbles
Text Box: Number of oxygen bubbles[IMAGE]
Text Box: Number of oxygen bubbles
The graphs show that in this experiment the trends are that when the
light intensity decreases the rate of photosynthesis decreases so when
the distance of the lamp increases, the amount of bubbles decreases.
My prediction was that:
“The oxygen bubbles will decrease when the lamp is further away from
the measuring cylinder, because light intensity is a factor of
photosynthesis. The plant may stop photosynthesising when the pondweed
is at the furthest distance from the lamp (8cm). Without light, the
plant will stop the photosynthesising process, because, light is a
limited factor. However once a particular light intensity is reached
the rate of photosynthesis stays constant, even if the light intensity
is the greatest. If I plot distance of the lamp, against the number of
bubbles per 2 minuets, I will get a straight linear graph which will
not go through the origin.”
I had no anomalies and the experiment was sufficient and accurate. My
experiments were fair tested.
Considering the reliability, I think that I have done enough repeats,
I repeated my tests three times which is the average amounts of time
to repeat it for a fair test. All my results show the same trends,
that when the distance of the lamp increases, the number of oxygen
bubbles produced in 2 minutes decreases, so meaning that when the
light intensity increases the rate of photosynthesis decreases. There
were no anomalies in all my graphs; this indicates that I did all my
I have investigated enough distances, because 5 measurements are the
average amount of distances in one experiment. I have controlled all
my variables – Input variables was the light intensity, the output
variable was the measurements and the control were, the same time,
around the same temperature and the direction of the light had to
face the same way. Temperature was a tricky one to control but because
is a limiting factor and might change the rate of photosynthesis.
However this was alright in my experiments because there was no great
range of temperature changing. There are many other further work I
could of done for this experiment apart from changing the distances
from the lamp and the measuring cylinder, you can change the light
intensity by maybe changing the watts in the light bulb, changing the
colour of the light by putting different transparent coloured paper,
changing the pondweed by finding a pond weed after every experiment,
changing the temperature by using a water bath and heating it to a
certain temperature, this would be hard to control. Changing the
amount of carbon dioxide by adding a certain amount of sodium
bicarbonate, and many more but this is all that I can think about.