Unit C

Module 5 ~ Lesson 4

Investigating Photosynthesis

Alberta is rich in arable farmland capable of producing food far beyond the needs of Albertans. Large amounts of wheat, barley, and oilseeds (canola) are exported to Mexico, the United States, China, Japan, and other Pacific Rim countries.

While Albertans depend on the productivity of agricultural plants for food, energy, and oxygen, there is also an economic benefit tied to the process of photosynthesis. The biosphere depends on photosynthesis to cycle carbon and oxygen, and throughout many parts of the world, people depend on Alberta crops for food.

Are all plants the same? Some plants grow better in the shade while other plants do best in bright, sunny locations. Plants in Alberta's prairies look very different from plants in Banff National Park. Some plants are better suited to become crop or orchard plants. Could this have something to do with photosynthesis?

In this lesson, the following essential questions will be examined:

  • What factors affect photosynthesis?
  • What technologies have emerged from photosynthesis-based research?