Ch3 Adaptations to the Physical Environment2.pdf

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University of Toronto St. George
University College Courses
Spencer Barrett

Light Absorption Spectra of Plants  the visible portion of the spectrum used for photosynthesis is the portion that has the highest irradiance  leaves contain pigments (contained in the chloroplasts) that absorb light to harness NRG  chlorophyll: captures light NRG in the light rxns of photosynthesis  absorbs red and violet light, reflects green and blue  carotenoids (esp. carotenes and xanthophylls): accessory pigments; the pass light NRG to cholorphyll to begin the sequence of rxns in photosynthesis  absorbs blue and green light, reflect yellow and orange wl of the spectrum  complement the absorption spectrum of chlorophyll  water absorbs visible light weakly  transparency of a glass of water is deceptive (appears colourless in small quantities)  absorbs/scatters light enough to limit the depth of the photic zone  absorbs longer (red) wl more strongly than shorter ones  IR rays disappear within the topmost meter of water  shortest visible wavelengths (violet and blue) scatter  both fail to penetrate deeply, thus green light predominates w/ increasing depth  algae living near surface of oceans (ex. green sea lettuce Ulva) have pigments resembling terre. plants that absorb blue and red and reflect green light  deep-water red alga Porphyra has additional pigments enable it to use green light eff. Photosynthesis  photons of light react with pigments (to which the NRG i
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