Plants and Respiration at Night
Location: Outside U.S.
Date: Winter 2012-2013
We all know that plants carry out respiration all the time. When stomata close at night, how can oxygen enter the leaves for respiration to happen? Similarly how would the extra Carbondioxide come out?
Most C3 and C4 pathway- plants take in carbon dioxide for photosynthesis during the day and release oxygen during the day, but the stomates also stay open during respiration while taking in oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide at night. Stomates close to conserve water.
However, CAM plants (such as cacti) open stomates at night and close them during the day - they have a different photosynthesis pathway.
Anthony R. Brach, Ph.D.
Harvard University Herbaria c/o Missouri Botanical Garden
The more appropriate questions to ask are how much oxygen is needed for plant respiration and why does the carbon dioxide need to “come out”?
J. Tokuhisa Ph.D.
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Update: November 2011