How Is The Structure Of The Leaf Adapted To Photosynthesis?


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Oscar De La Huerte Profile
Leaves are the main organs in a plant when it comes to Photosynthesis.

For those of you who aren't already aware of this, photosynthesis is the method by which plants transform light energy (from the sun) into chemical energy.

The process uses sunlight, water and carbon dioxide - and as a by-product it produces oxygen.

The way a leaf is designed helps it perform this task, read on to find out how:

Leaf structure and photosynthesis

Leaves must be able to allow the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere access to the photosynthetic cells, whilst at the same time preventing the loss of water.
Oxygen (which is the waste product of photosynthesis) has to be released. The structure of the leaf facilitates this process through the following:

  • It has a cuticle which is transparent, allowing light to pass through.
  • The leaves are thin, which means they have a large surface area to volume ratio, providing maximum absorption of sunlight.
  • Under the cuticle and epidermis is the palisade layer of cells. They have a very large number of chloroplasts, which aids in photosynthesis.
  • The spongy mesophyll cells have air spaces in them, allowing CO2 to enter and help in photosynthesis.
  • Heat produced during photosynthesis as well as water can be exchanged with the outside environment through the stomata.

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