Elodea Photosynthesis Research

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Investigating the light factors that affect the rate of photosynthesis in Elodea
Fatima Hussien
Sara House, Lesha Liles, Abigail Saucedo, Melrina Stemn
Biology 1441_Sec 017, Monika Pradhan; October 6, 2015

All plants rely on photosynthesis, therefore, we examined the rate at which a submerged plant such as elodea photosynthesized, with different light factors. To do this, the elodea must be completely be submerged in deionized water, later place the two plants under artificial light and natural light. After an hour, elodea has to be removed from the beaker, add three drops of phenolphthalein and then add as many drops of sodium dioxide until the content has turned pink, into the beaker. The amount of sodium dioxide drops that are added to
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Three drops of phenolphthalein should be added to each beaker, with a dropper the NaOH should follow after phenolphthalein. It is important that the amount of drops is recorded, and that there is a permanent pink color. This should be done for “Natural Light”, “Artificial Light”, “No Elodea”. See the lab manual Lab 3: Photosynthesis and Respiration (Walsh and Wostl 2015) for details.


The results from the beaker labeled artificial light was that it needed six sodium hydroxide drops, and the natural light needed three sodium hydroxide drops. Whereas, the no elodea beaker needs only seven sodium hydroxide drops as seen in (Table 2), the reason why the beakers have different numbers is that the same permeant pink was required as seen in the picture below (Figure 1).

To find out the carbon dioxide values, it was important to subtract the sodium hydroxide drops the “No Elodea” beaker from the “Natural light” (7-3=4) which resulted in four drops(Table 3). And the same is done in the artificial light, subtracting the “No Elodea” breaker from the “Artificial Light” (7-6=1) which resulted in one drop (Table 3). The reason for this is because it gives you the exact amount of carbon dioxide produced by the elodea, making it easier to compare the two. In Table 1, conversions of sodium hydroxide drop to carbon dioxide values are shown

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