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What is photosynthesis?

Plants, like animals, need food to survive. Plants produce their own food or energy through the process of photosynthesis. It is because of this reason, that plants are categorized as producers.

If we break the word photosynthesis down, it helps to define it: “photo” means light and “synthesis” means to put together. Using the energy from sunlight, the plant takes in carbon dioxide (from the air) and water (mostly from the soil) and creates sugar energy (food) for itself. The green pigment in plant leaves is called chlorophyll; this is what absorbs light energy and helps make photosynthesis possible. Algae and some bacteria can also photosynthesize.

Aquatic plants also release oxygen through photosynthesis. This released oxygen adds to what is called dissolved oxygen. Dissolved oxygen is a vital part of the aquatic ecosystem, providing oxygen for fish and other oxygen breathing organisms under the water.

Carnivorous plants fit into both the producer and consumer categories. While they consume and produce their own food, they rely upon photosynthesizing for growth. Consuming prey provides the plant with nutrients but photosynthesis provides energy for the plant.

Learn more about producers or consumers just follow the links.