The basics of plant respiration

The process of respiration in plants involves using the sugars produced during photosynthesis plus oxygen to produce energy for plant growth. In many ways, respiration is the opposite of photosynthesis. In the natural environment, plants produce their own food to survive.

They use the carbon dioxide (CO2) from the environment to produce sugars and oxygen (O2), which can later be utilized as a source of energy. While photosynthesis takes place in the leaves and stems only, respiration occurs in the leaves, stems and roots of the plant. The process of respiration is represented as follows:

C6H12O6 + 6O2 → 6CO2 + 6H2O + 32 ATP (energy)

As with photosynthesis, plants get oxygen from the air through the stomata. Respiration takes place in the mitochondria of the cell in the presence of oxygen, which is called "aerobic respiration". In plants, there are two types of respiration: dark respiration and photo respiration. The first kind occurs in the presence or absence of light, while the second occurs exclusively in the presence of light.

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