Please see attached homework worksheetTextbook:Belk, C., & Meier, V. B. (2013). Biology: Science for life with physiology (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson


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Photosynthesis and
Plant Biology
Course Learning Outcomes for Unit VIII
1. Evaluate concepts of basic biological sciences.
1.1 Identify various aspects of photosynthesis.
1.2 Categorize plants.
7. Evaluate relationships between living organisms and nonliving factors in ecosystems.
7.1 Compare and contrast sustainable and unsustainable farming practices.
7.2 Evaluate the effects of excess carbon dioxide and the effect on greenhouse gases.
8. Apply lab simulations and activities for further scientific understanding.
8.1 Interpret and record data.
8.2 Examine various effects of transpiration on plants.
Reading Assignment
Chapter 5: Life in the Greenhouse: Photosynthesis and Global Warming
Chapter 23: Feeding the World: Plant Structure and Growth
Chapter 24: Growing a Green Thumb: Plant Physiology
Unit Lesson
This unit includes information from Chapters 5, 23, and 24. The materials in these chapters will help you
understand the important relationship between plants and the survival of the human race. You will learn what
plants need in order to grow and about agricultural practices that provide food to humans. In addition, you will
learn about the various plant structures and their functions. You will also learn about the future of agriculture.
We know that past and present agricultural practices have caused damage to the environment. How can we
reduce this damage, or can we?
At least three times a day, we sit down and eat. Do you ever really think about what you eat—not just whether
it is good for you, or if it is a vegetable, but what it is made of? In early chapters, we learned that there are two
types of cells: prokaryotes and eukaryotes. We learned that eukaryotes are fungi, protists, plants, and
animals. We eat a lot of eukaryotic organisms. What do you think makes up most of what you eat? If you are
eating a healthy diet, the majority of your food comes from plants. Even if you ate no plants at all, whatever
you are eating ate a plant or another organism, which probably ate a plant. What is the point? The point is
that plants are important. We have to have food. Is that all we get from plants? Do plants just look nice and
provide us with food?
In Chapter 5, you will learn about the delicate relationship between plants (through photosynthesis) and
humans (through cellular respiration). Plants provide us with the sugars and oxygen that we need in order to
synthesize ATP, or energy. Plants are required for our survival. Recently, you have probably heard a lot in the
news about the greenhouse effect and global warming. There has been, and currently still is, a debate among
scientists, politicians, and other groups of whether or not global warming exists. As productive members of
society, you need to develop an understanding of these concepts. In this unit, you will learn about the
greenhouse effect and the gases that play an important role in the environment.
Look around where you live. Have you visited an area that you had not been to in a few years? If so, you
probably noticed that it looks different. There are probably more buildings, commercial properties, and
houses. When development occurs, destruction also occurs. When forests and plants are destroyed, it is
really a double-edged sword. When the number of plants is reduced, there are fewer organisms available to
BIO 1100, Non-Majors Biology
absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Before the plant was cleared or cut,
it had
dioxide. What happens to the carbon dioxide that was absorbed? Right, it is released
Title back into the
atmosphere. There are fewer plants to absorb the carbon dioxide and more is being released. You would
think with the technology that we have, we could figure out a way to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide. Even
if we could, plants are still important. They are so important that we figured out how to grow them thousands
of years ago and continue to farm plants today.
Agriculture is just a fancy name for farming. We have to have food. Can we provide enough food on a global
scale with traditional ways of farming? Do we have the same amount of farmland? With more people and less
land, how are we going to feed everyone? All of these questions have transformed the methods that farmers
use to grow crops. Are these methods better? Are there costs? Do the costs outweigh the benefits?
You may be thinking that this does not apply to you because you are not a farmer; however, you are a
consumer. You do eat food. You do live in the environment. This does affect everyone, whether you are a
farmer or not. During the first decade of the 2000s there was an extreme drought affecting much of the United
States, including the Midwest region (NOAA, 2015). This is an area of our country that produces a lot of corn.
Corn is used in many different foods, even when you do not think it is. Just in consumption alone, each
person consumes about 1500 pounds of corn per year. That is a lot of corn. Think about this the next time you
drink a regular soda (not a diet soda), look at the ingredients list. The first ingredient is probably water and the
next ingredient is probably high fructose corn syrup. Basically, you are drinking corn water.
Think back to the drought in the Midwest. If we use that much corn and our largest production region was not
able to produce any, what will happen to our corn supply? Where will it come from? What will this do to the
price of corn? Again, corn is even in soda. Will the cost of soda increase? Farmer or not, we are all affected
by crops. We have staple crops that we rely on for various reasons; many are required for our survival.
Food is not the only issue when it comes to plants and farming. We know that our population has increased.
This means more crops are required. This means more pesticides are being used. What are pesticides doing
to our environment? What are they doing to you? A large population of the United States lives along the
coastal regions, especially the Gulf Coast along the Gulf of Mexico. When pesticides are used, a lot of the
residue ends up as run-off. Where does the pesticide end up? If you have not had a chance, make sure you
view the image on page 587 in your textbook. This image shows how pesticide residue is dispersed from the
Mississippi River.
Why are farmers using so many pesticides? Why are they using more? In early chapters, we learned about
evolution. Are some pests resistant to pesticides? Are pest smarter than we are? Of course not. Natural
selection allows them to change naturally over time. Think about growing your own garden again. You will
probably not be lucky enough to not have any pests. You may decide not to worry about them since you are
not trying to sell your products; however, you may decide to use pesticides. If you do not have a garden, you
probably have grass in your yard and you want your grass to be beautiful and green.
In the south, St Augustine is a popular variety of grass among both residents and chinch bugs. Chinch bugs
attach themselves to the grass blade and suck out the fluid. This kills the grass and leaves the grass looking
as if someone poured chemicals on it. Chinch bugs reproduce quickly. When organisms reproduce fast, this
means there are more chances for mutations. Remember, mutations are random. Some chinch bugs mutate
and are immune to chemicals that were once used to treat them. Some chinch bugs are actually even
resistant to DDT, a highly effective insecticide once touted as a wonder-chemical until it was discovered to be
toxic to humans and subsequently banned (PAN, n.d.).
If you spray your yard with the chemical currently being used to treat chinch bugs, it will kill them unless some
have mutated. If some have mutated, they will survive. At first, this resistant population is small; however,
they now have the resources of your entire yard to themselves. They reproduce quickly. The resistant
population is larger. You spray again; however, the chinch bugs are resistant, and it does not affect them. You
try something new that scientists just came out with. This kills most of the chinch bugs; however, a few
mutated and are able to survive. This is known as the “pesticide treadmill.” You (or the farmer) keep running
as fast as you can only to stay in one place.
BIO 1100, Non-Majors Biology
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (2015). Drought – June 2015.
Pesticide Action Network. (n.d.). The DDT story. Retrieved from
Suggested Reading
Please see the chapter presentation links in Blackboard to download and view Chapter 5, 23, and 24
presentations. This will summarize and reinforce the information from these chapters in your textbook.
Learning Activities (Nongraded)
Is It Possible to Plant a Seed Upside Down?
Estimated Time to Complete: This activity takes approximately 10 minutes to set up and three to four days
to see the results.
Introduction: Often, novice gardeners think that seeds that do not grow may have been placed or settled into
the ground upside down—that is, with shoots emerging from the seed facing away from the soil surface.
Actually, seeds that do not produce seedlings were most likely inviable or were planted too deeply. The
emerging shoots and roots are affected in opposite ways by the same hormone, auxin. In response to gravity,
auxin accumulates on the lower side (side closest to the pull of gravity) of the embryonic shoot and root. The
shoot responds to the auxin by cells elongating. The root senses gravity in the root cap and responds in the
opposite way, and cell elongation on the underside of the root is inhibited, causing it to bend down into the
 Cheesecloth or soft paper towels
 Seeds of various types. Corn, wheat, rye, and beans are examples that work well. Use seeds that
have distinct shapes that allow easy distinction of different orientations.
 Foil
1. Dampen the cheesecloth or paper towel completely.
2. Arrange seeds in different orientations, snaring them in the cloth or paper to prevent them from
dropping out. Lay another damp cloth over them and enclose the seed (i.e., “sandwich” them in the
foil, pressing it tightly closed).
3. Place the seed sandwich upright (not flat) by leaning it against a wall or on a bookshelf. Allow seeds
to germinate for three to four days.
4. After three to four days, carefully open the foil packets (do not lose track of which side was up) and
examine the germinating seeds inside.
1. Did the roots always grow down and shoots always grow up?
2. What was the hormone involved?
3. Why is planting a seed too deep much more likely to reduce germination than planting a seed upside
BIO 1100, Non-Majors Biology
Answer Key:
1. Did the roots always grow down and shoots always grow up? Yes.
2. What was the hormone involved? Auxin.
3. Why is planting a seed too deep much more likely to reduce germination than planting a seed upside
down? The roots and shoots can orient themselves correctly if planted upside down. If they are
planted too deeply, however, the shoot may not have enough energy reserves to make it out of the
Nongraded Learning Activities are provided to aid students in their course of study. You do not have to submit
them. If you have questions, contact your instructor for further guidance and information.
BIO 1100, Non-Majors Biology
Unit VIII Homework
Plant Transpiration
If you have not already, you or someone you know will try to grow a variety of plants either inside your
house or outside in a garden. What type of soil do you need? How often should you water the plants?
Should you plant them in full sun? Why do some plants need less water and some more? These are
questions that many people have about plants. In this activity, you will have a chance to manipulate
different variables to see how much water some plants use and how much some lose through
1. Conduct virtual experiments to determine factors that affect transpiration.
2. Compare and contrast sustainable and unsustainable farming practices.
Computer with internet access
1. Go to:
3. Read and follow the information under PROCEDURES, and complete the lab for all 4 plants and
all 3 variables.
4. Reset the lab and complete the lab for the next set of 4 plants and 3 variables.
5. Record your information in the Results Table provided on this sheet.
6. During and after the lab, answer the questions below.
7. Type all answers directly on the data sheet.
8. Select Save As, and use your last name and student ID as a file name.
9. Upload the data sheet as a .doc, .docx, or .rtf file when finished.
Questions 1 – 10 are short answer questions and should be answered in two to three words or one to two
complete sentences. Total: 40 points
1. Explain how the heater, the fan and the lamp are being used to test environmental factors
as they relate to plant transpiration. (4 points)
2. State a scientific question you have based on what you know of the experiment. (4
3. State your hypothesis. (4 points)
4. In your own words, explain the process of transpiration. (4 points)
5. Which environmental factors that you tested increased the rate of transpiration? Did the
rate of transpiration increase for all plants tested? Explain. (4 points)
6. Of the environmental factors tested, did any affect the transpiration rate more than the
others? Explain. (4 points)
7. Which species of plants that you tested had the highest transpiration rates? Why do you
think different species of plants transpire at different rates? (4 points)
8. What is your conclusion? (4 points)
9. Did your results support your hypothesis? If so, how? If not, why not? (4 points)
10. State another question about transpiration that you would like to have answered that you
did not answer in this lab activity. (4 points)
Results Table: You should include data for eight different plants. Make sure you reset the lab (upper right
corner) to receive four more plants. Total: 20 points
Amount of water transpired after 1 hour (mL)
Question 11 is a short essay. Your response should be at least 200 words in length. Total: 40 points
11. You want to reduce the amount of money that you are spending at the grocery store. You and
your family decide to plant a small garden to provide a variety of foods. Since you completed the
activity above, you know that plants require certain nutrients in order to survive.
Read the information in the textbook concerning the future of agriculture (pages 586 – 592). What
are some methods that you would implement into your garden? What would you try to avoid? In
addition to your textbook, locate at least one article in the CSU Online Library that provides
further information on your chosen methods. Make sure you provide a detailed response.

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