# 3.5: True Respiration


The common misconception about plants is that their only energy-related metabolic process is photosynthesis:

CO$$_2$$ + H$$_2$$O + energy $$\longrightarrow$$ carbohydrates + O$$_2$$

However, as most eukaryotes, plants have mitochondria in cells and use aerobic (oxygen-related) respiration to obtain energy:

carbohydrates + O$$_\mathbf{2}$$ $$\longrightarrow$$ CO$$_\mathbf{2}$$ + H$$_\mathbf{2}$$O + energy

Typically, plants spend much less oxygen in respiration than they make in photosynthesis. However, at nights plants do exactly the same as animals, and make only carbon dioxide!

3.5: True Respiration is shared under a Public Domain license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Alexey Shipunov via source content that was edited to conform to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.