1. How do the light response curves of C3 and C4 plants differ?

 

Plants capable of C4 photosynthesis carry on a more efficient form of photosynthesis. Curve A above shows how the light response curve of an idealized C4 plant compares with that of a C3 plant (curve B). There are two key differences that you should understand. For C4 type plants, 1) the light saturation point is higher and 2) the light compensation point is lower than for C3 plants. Both of these characteristics relate to the ability of C4 plants possess to increase the amount of CO2 available to the Calvin-Benson cycle. Can you explain why?

For a brief review of C4 photosynthesis, click here

 

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