Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Fundamental Processes in EcologyAn earth systems approach$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

David M Wilkinson

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780198568469

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198568469.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 07 December 2019

Photosynthesis

Photosynthesis

Chapter:
(p.82) 7. Photosynthesis
Source:
Fundamental Processes in Ecology
Author(s):

David M. Wilkinson

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198568469.003.0007

Photosynthesis — both anoxygenic and oxygenic — allows access to new sources of energy. Oxygenic photosynthesis has the potential to create an oxygen-rich atmosphere and so allow aerobic respiration, which yields much higher amounts of energy than anaerobic respiration. The amount of oxygen added to the atmosphere is intimately linked to the burial of organic matter in sediments, therefore marine phytoplankton are crucially important in maintaining the levels of atmospheric oxygen on Earth. Anoxygenic photosynthesis will have a positive Gaian effect by providing an important source of energy. Oxygenic photosynthesis is more problematical; as with anoxygenic photosynthesis it provides an energy source, but the oxygen given off is likely to be toxic to organisms evolved in anoxic conditions. It is currently impossible to know if we should expect most biospheres to evolve oxygenic photosynthesis. However, improvements in telescope technology should allow us to look for oxygen-rich atmospheres around distant Earth-like planets.

Keywords:   photosynthesis, anoxygenic photosynthesis, oxygenic photosynthesis, phytoplankton, oxygen, anoxic, Earth-like planets, aerobic respiration, organic matter

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .