BIOL1002 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Ecosystem Services, Light-Independent Reactions, Light-Dependent Reactions

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Plants are fundamental for all life on earth, providing the vital services to ecosystems and society. Unlike animals and fungi, plants are autotrophs and produce energy they can have the ability to convert light energy (sunlight) to chemical energy (sugars) through photosynthesis. Almost all energy in the food web originated from photosynthesis. Carbohydrates (sugars) are a form of chemical energy. Heterotrophs break down sugars to fuel growth and movement. Two sets of reactions (light and light-independent) with the light reactions producing the chemical energy for the dark reactions to capture carbon dioxide and convert it to carbohydrates. Being able to carry out photosynthesis allows plants to be the backbone of all ecosystems. Plants provide habitats for animals & fungi. Soil is a complex mixture of organic matter, minerals, and organisms. Plant roots hold soil in place and hence, deforestation often results in severe erosion due to soil moving over time.

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