Plant cells respire, just as animal cells do. If they stop respiring, they will die. Remember that respiration is not the same as breathing, so take care - plants do not breathe.
Here is the word equation for aerobic respiration:
Here is the word equation for photosynthesis:
The word equations show that the reactants and products of aerobic respiration and photosynthesis are opposites:
Plants respire all the time, whether it is dark or light. They photosynthesise only when they are in the light.
|Conditions||Photosynthesis v respiration||Overall result|
|Dark||Respiration but no photosynthesis||Oxygen taken in, carbon dioxide given out|
|Dim light||Photosynthesis rate equals respiration rate||Neither gas is taken in or given out|
|Bright light||Photosynthesis rate greater than respiration rate||Carbon dioxide taken in, oxygen given out|
Photosynthesis usually results in a gain of glucose once respiration has been accounted for. Plants that lose their leaves in winter store food produced during the summer by photosynthesis. They store enough food to last them over winter, and to provide energy reserves for new growth in the spring. They are called deciduous plants.