Micheal: Hello, this is channel 3 news! Photosynthesis, symbiosis, climate change, what are they, and how do they relate? Now, what is the role of photosynthesis on the evolution of life on Earth?
The role of photosynthesis in the evolution of life on Earth.
Judah: photosynthesis, a process used to turn water and carbon into nutrients, played a significant role in the evolution of life on earth. Just about 3.5 billion years ago, the first organism capable of photosynthesis mutated itself into existence. This was the start of a large scale extinction of many previously thriving organisms. This is because photosynthesizers put out oxygen as waste and while we breathe it to survive, in high concentrations it is actually toxic. It scrambles DNA and binds to metal compounds used to shuttle electrons. This process is called oxidation. With the growing population of photosynthesizing organisms, the atmosphere’s oxygen concentration grew too high for those prone to oxidation. They either went extinct, moved to an oxygen depleted environment, or evolved to use oxygen as an energy source. Effectively changing the path of evolution for life on earth. Photosynthesis can cause evolutionary changes in life, but how do plants and animals co-evolve, and what is symbiosis?
*I’m gonna pass it on to Michael, here to talk about plant and animal symbiosis.*
Blankenship, Robert E. “Early Evolution of Photosynthesis.” Plant Physiology, American Society of Plant Biologists, 1 Oct. 2010, www.plantphysiol.org/content/154/2/434.)
Plant and Animal symbiosis
Micheal: Symbiosis is the co-evolution, and living of two or more plants, and animals. Bees and plants are one of the most common, and important cases of symbiosis. Plants feed bees with their nectar, and bees pollinate the plants allowing them to reproduce. Without plants humans would have died long ago. Plants through photosynthesis give us oxygen allowing us the breath. There are many examples of symbiosis, but how does photosynthesis affect the climate?
Bailey, Regina. “When Both Benefit: Mutualism Explained.” ThoughtCo, ThoughtCo, 10 July 2019, www.thoughtco.com/mutualism-symbiotic-relationships-4109634.)
Photosynthesis and Climate Change
Caleb: According to a New York Times Article that as the climate warms, plants will absorb less CO2. Today, the plants and soil around the world absorb roughly a quarter of the greenhouse gases that humans release into the atmosphere. Which is helping the Earth avoid some of the worst effects of climate change. But when soil is dry, plants are stressed and can’t absorb as much CO2 to perform photosynthesis in the warming temperatures. Then the microorganisms in the soil, which are more productive when there is a warm temperature, release more CO2. According to the article “... in a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature, researchers found that under a warming climate, rather than absorbing more greenhouse gas emissions, plants and soil may start absorbing less, accelerating the rate of change.”
So as the climate continues to change, scientists know that there will be more years of extreme weather. That could mean extreme droughts in the future, followed by years of heavier than normal rainfall, and that chance become more likely.
Pierre-louis, Kendra. “As Climate Warms, Plants Will Absorb Less CO₂, Study Finds.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 23 Jan. 2019, www.nytimes.com/2019/01/23/climate/plants-co2-climate-change.html.)
This has been channel 3 news on photosynthesis, symbiosis, and climate change! Be sure to tune in next time for more.
Bailey, Regina. “When Both Benefit: Mutualism Explained.” ThoughtCo, ThoughtCo, 10 July 2019, www.thoughtco.com/mutualism-symbiotic-relationships-4109634
Blankenship, Robert E. “Early Evolution of Photosynthesis.” Plant Physiology, American Society of Plant Biologists, 1 Oct. 2010, www.plantphysiol.org/content/154/2/434
Pierre-louis, Kendra. “As Climate Warms, Plants Will Absorb Less CO₂, Study Finds.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 23 Jan. 2019, www.nytimes.com/2019/01/23/climate/plants-co2-climate-change.html