Like a generating plant, plants and animals also must take in energy from the environment and convert it into a form that their cells can use. Energy enters an organism’s body in one form and is converted into another form that can fuel the organism’s life functions. In the process of photosynthesis, plants and other photosynthetic producers take in energy in the form of light (solar energy) and convert it into chemical energy, glucose, which stores this energy in its chemical bonds. Then, a series of metabolic pathways, collectively called cellular respiration, extracts the energy from the bonds in glucose and converts it into a form that all living things can use—both producers, such as plants, and consumers, such as animals.
- 5.1: Introduction - Systems, Cycles, Reservoirs, and Fluxes
- Thinking about the Earth as a system has become, in recent years, much in vogue.
- 5.4: Photosynthesis
- Photosynthesis is essential to all life on earth; both plants and animals depend on it. It is the only biological process that can capture energy that originates in outer space (sunlight) and convert it into chemical compounds (carbohydrates) that every organism uses to power its metabolism. In brief, the energy of sunlight is captured and used to energize electrons, which are then stored in the covalent bonds of sugar molecules.
Contributors and Attributions
Connie Rye (East Mississippi Community College), Robert Wise (University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh), Vladimir Jurukovski (Suffolk County Community College), Jean DeSaix (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), Jung Choi (Georgia Institute of Technology), Yael Avissar (Rhode Island College) among other contributing authors. Original content by OpenStax (CC BY 4.0; Download for free at http://cnx.org/contents/185cbf87-c72...firstname.lastname@example.org).