Limiting factors in photosynthesis

photosynthesis in action by Sam Judson on flickr

photosynthesis in action by Sam Judson on flickr

Let’s suppose I want to redecorate my bedroom.  I need money to buy the materials, I need to know how to decorate, and I need the time to be able to do it.  Imagine that I am a good decorator, with a free weekend coming up, but I have no money to buy what I need.  The materials are the limiting factor in this instance.  The lack of paints, brushes, wallpaper, etc is what is stopping the process of redecoration.  Similarly, if I had money and knowledge, but was busy for the next month, then time would be the limiting factor.

Limiting factors apply to photosynthesis too.  We’ll discuss the factors that control how fast or how slowly photosynthesis proceeds, and analyse some graphs to help us understand this concept.

Is the main limiting factor for photosynthesis different in different parts of the world?  Or for different species of plants?  What do you think?

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