Methods to Calculate the Rate of Photosynthesis

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  Methods to calculate the rate of photosynthesisThere are a few key methods to calculate the rate of photosynthesis. These include: 1) Measuring the uptake of CO 2 2) Measuring the production of O 2 3) Measuring the production of carohydrates!) Measuring the increase in dry mass  s the e#uation for respiration is almost the re$erse of the one for photosynthesis% you will need to think whether these methods measure photosynthesis alone or whether they are measuring the alance etween photosynthesis and respiration. Using 'immobilised algae'  & 't(s easy and accurate to measure the rate of photosynthesis and respirationusing immoilised algae in hydrogen caronate indicator solution & known as the (algal alls( techni#ue. ead the full protocol on using immoilsed algae to measure photosynthesis. Using an IRGA  & *ptake of CO 2  can e measured with the means of an '+ ,'nfra&ed +as nalyser) which can compare the CO 2  concentration in gas passing into a chamer surrounding a leaf-plant and theCO 2 lea$ing the chamer. Using a CO 2 monitor   & More simply% you could put a plant in a plastic ag and monitor the CO 2  concentration in the ag using a CO 2 monitor. aturally% the soil and roots must OT e in the ag ,as they respire). lternati$ely% you could place some /icaronate 'ndicator 0olution in the ag with the plant and watch the colour change. This would est e done with a reference colour chart to try to make the end&point less suecti$e. This could gi$e a comparison etween se$eral plants. There are difficulties with this method% as '(m sure you can appreciate. The leaf area of the plants should e measured so you can compensate for plant sie. tmospheric air is only !ppm CO 2 % so there is not much CO 2  to monitor and the plant will soon run out of CO 2  to fi4.O4ygen can e measured y counting ules e$ol$ed from pondweed% or y using the udus apparatus to measure the amount of gas e$ol$ed o$er a period of time. To do this% place Cabomba pondweed in an upside down syringe in a water ath connected to a capillary tue ,you can also use Elodea % ut we find Cabomba more reliale). 5ut the weed in a solution of a6CO 3  solution. 7ou can then in$estigate the amount of gas produced at different distances from a lamp. ead a full protocol on how to in$estigate photosynthesis using pondweed.There is a crude method where a disc is cut out of one side of a leaf ,using a cork orer against a ruer ung) and weighed after drying. 0ome days ,or e$en weeks later)% a disk is cut out of the other half of the leaf% dried and weighed. 'ncrease in mass of the disc is an indication of the e4tra mass that has een stored in the leaf. This is $ery simple to do and enales you to in$estigate plants growing in the wild. 6owe$er% you can proaly think of se$eral inaccuracies in this method.8ry mass is often monitored y the techni#ue of (serial har$ests( where se$eral plants are har$ested% dried to constant weight and weighed & this is repeated o$er the duration of the e4periment. 'f you har$est se$eral plants and record how much mass they ha$e accumulated you will ha$e an accurate measure of the surplus photosynthesis o$er and ao$e the respiration that has taken place. s with most methods% you need se$eral plants so you ha$e replicate measurements and you can find an a$erage and a standard de$iation if necessary.The rate of decolourisation of 8C5'5 in the 6ill eaction is a measure of the rate of the light&re#uiring stages of photosynthesis
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