Photosynthesis is the chemical change which happens in the leaves of green plants. It is the first step towards making food - not just for plants but ultimately every animal on the planet. During this reaction, carbon dioxide and water are converted into glucose and oxygen. The reaction requires light energy, which is absorbed by green stuff called chlorophyll. Photosynthesis takes place in leaf cells. These contain chloroplasts, which are tiny objects containing chlorophyll.
Green plants absorb light energy using chlorophyll in their leaves. They use it to react carbon dioxide with water to make a sugar called glucose. The glucose is used in respiration, or converted into starch and stored. Oxygen is produced as a by-product. This process is called photosynthesis. Temperature, carbon dioxide concentration and light intensity are factors that can limit the rate of photosynthesis.
Here is the equation for photosynthesis:
carbon dioxide + water (+ light energy) → glucose + oxygen
Plants absorb water through their roots, and carbon dioxide through their leaves. Some glucose is used for respiration, while some is converted into starch for storage. The stored starch can later be turned back into glucose and used in respiration.
Factors limiting photosynthesis
Three factors can limit the speed of photosynthesis - light intensity, carbon dioxide concentration and temperature.
Without enough light, a plant cannot photosynthesise very quickly, even if there is plenty of water and carbon dioxide.