The Impact Of Different Types Of Environments On Photosynthesis


The experiments in this study were conducted to see how different types of environments could have made an impact on photosynthesis. The leaves came from three different environments, while the elodea plant came from the same environment. We ended up manipulating the environment of the elodea plant in the experiment. Sodium bicarbonate was used in the experiment to react with one of the elodea plants in the beaker. The other elodea plant did not contain any sodium bicarbonate. The plant that contained the two teaspoons of sodium bicarbonate was successful in photosynthesis. This occurred because the sodium bicarbonate produced carbon dioxide for the plant, even though it was covered with plastic wrap. In the experiment with the three plant leaves, environments varied. One didn’t have any light, one was inside a glass case that hurt its carbon dioxide production, and the other leaf had all the right conditions to perform photosynthesis. A piece of tin foil was placed over parts of the leaf. The reason behind this was to determine if light had any importance in photosynthesis on the leaf. The prediction we made was that the leaf with all the right conditions for photosynthesis, would be able to perform photosynthesis the best. Our prediction turned out to be correct. We then tested this by boiling our leaves in ethanol. A few drops of iodine solution were added to the leaves to determine if there was any starch within the leaves that we boiled.


Plants are the center stone for not only nature, but also for human life. Here in South Dakota, agriculture and farmers directly affect the lives of us living here. In plants, starch contains a positive impact on agriculture along with the number of crops being produced. Starch is ultimately the result that is produced in photosynthesis, along with oxygen and water. In order for photosynthesis to begin to take place, plants must have sunlight, along with water, and carbon dioxide. During the experimentation, we changed the inputs of photosynthesis to see how it would affect the end result. The photosynthesis process was increased in speed by taking baking soda and adding it to the elodea plant. In the end, we got to experience how photosynthesis occurs if you change any inputs in a certain reaction. The work we conducted was significant because it helped us realize the importance of photosynthesis and how manipulating the inputs can change the reaction as a whole.

Materials and Methods

In this experiment we used two beakers. One was filled halfway with ethanol, while the other was filled halfway with water. Two teaspoons of baking soda went into each beaker. Then, Elodea (an aquatic plant) was put in each beaker. We then put the beakers near a desk lamp and wrapped the top of each beaker in plastic wrap. Then we wrapped the beakers in aluminum. We also used a hot plat for our experiment. 3 leaves of a geranium plant were cut off to be tested and analyzed. One leaf was kept in dark light, one had a piece of aluminum foil on it, the other was sealed in a clear glass container in normal conditions (light, temperature, etc.). Iodine solution was also used for this experiment.


From the spot plate we gathered that the starch would become present when it came into contact with iodine because it turned blue. The water and glucose did not end up reacting with the iodine. In the first picture, we knew it wasn’t exposed to any light because there was no color change in the leaf. In the second picture, the leaf was deprived of carbon dioxide so starch was not present in this leaf. In the third and fourth picture the spotty leaf had a piece of tin foil over it. In these areas, starch was produced because it did not turn the color blue. Unlike the first picture of the elodea plant, oxygen was not present in the second picture, because sodium bicarbonate was not present.


In the first experiment, it was very easy to determine which liquid was starch, because it turned purple almost immediately. Iodine turns starch purple, so that gave us an edge when experimenting with the leaves. Ultimately, photosynthesis produces carbohydrates which in return is a starch. The result of the leaf was as expected because the lack of carbon dioxide gave limitations to photosynthesis- like Sharkey stated in The Botanical Review. This process also took place in the second elodea picture due to the lack of oxygen. Due to the wrap, carbon dioxide was unavailable and the reaction could not proceed. In the first picture with the elodea plant, sodium bicarbonate was added into the beaker. This was the reagent that caused photosynthesis to speed up the reaction. This case was also true in D.A. White’s experiment. He states, “The addition of sodium bicarbonate is a viable strategy.” Both plants ended up being slowed down when carbon dioxide wasn’t available. Sodium bicarbonate was also not present in the other beaker as well. In the first picture, the leaf was in a dark environment. Nichole Ann-Marie states in The Chlamydomonas Cryptochrome is Degraded in a Light -Dependent Manner by the Proteasome, that “The plants have many photoreceptors that mediate a variety of responses”. This showed to hold true in our experiment. If there is no light, photosynthesis cannot carry through with the process. Also, the leaf in the second picture did not have enough carbon dioxide to complete the reaction of photosynthesis. So this explains why there are only a few spots on it that contained starch.

Works Cited

  • Sharkey, Thomas D., Jan. 1985, “Photosynthesis in Intact Leaves of C3 Plants: Physics, Physiology and Rate Limitations.” SpringerLink, Springer-Verlag,
  • Vavra Reisdorph, Nichole Ann-Marie. The Chlamydomonas Cryptochrome is Degraded in a Light -Dependent Manner by the Proteasome. Order No. 3055143 University of South Dakota, 2002 Ann Arbor ProQuest. 16 Oct. 2018 .
  • White, D. A., et al. “The Effect of Sodium Bicarbonate Supplementation on Growth and Biochemical Composition of Marine Microalgae Cultures.” SpringerLink, Springer Netherlands, 17 May 2012,
  • Stark, David M., 'Regulation of the amount of starch in plant tissues by ADP glucose pyrophosphorylase.' Science 258.5080 (1992): 287-292.
  • Mader, Sylvia S. and Windelspecht, Michael. 2019. Photosynthesis. Biology, 13 th Edition. 113-125.
16 December 2021
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