Comparing photosynthesis and cellular respiration essay

The Effect Of Light Intensity On Photosynthetic Rates

The carbon dioxide produced during respiration is released from the body and absorbed by plants to help provide the energy they need for growth and development. This is the never ending cycle that sustains life on earth. The process of photosynthesis is used by plants and other photosynthetic organisms to produce energy, whereas the process of cellular respiration breaks down the energy for use.

Despite the differences between these two processes, there are some similarities. For example, both processes synthesize and use ATP, the energy currency. The cycle of photosynthesis and respiration maintains the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide. Photosynthesis produces the oxygen to replenish oxygen that is used up by living organisms during respiration. Carbon dioxide produced during respiration is one of the reactants plants need to perform photosynthesis.


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First , respiration may refer to external respiration or the process of breathing inhalation and exhalation , also called ventilation. Secondly , respiration may refer to internal respiration, which is the diffusion of gases between body fluids blood and interstitial fluid and tissues. Finally , respiration may refer to the metabolic processes of converting the energy stored in biological molecules to usable energy in the form of ATP. This process may involve the consumption of oxygen and production of carbon dioxide, as seen in aerobic cellular respiration , or may not involve the consumption of oxygen, as in the case of anaerobic respiration.

One method for obtaining oxygen from the environment is through external respiration or breathing. In animal organisms, the process of external respiration is performed in a number of different ways.

Animals that lack specialized organs for respiration rely on diffusion across external tissue surfaces to obtain oxygen. Others either have organs specialized for gas exchange or have a complete respiratory system. In organisms such as nematodes roundworms , gases and nutrients are exchanged with the external environment by diffusion across the surface of the animals body. Insects and spiders have respiratory organs called tracheae, while fish have gills as sites for gas exchange. Humans and other mammals have a respiratory system with specialized respiratory organs lungs and tissues.

In the human body, oxygen is taken into the lungs by inhalation and carbon dioxide is expelled from the lungs by exhalation.


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  • External respiration in mammals encompasses the mechanical processes related to breathing. External respiratory processes explain how oxygen is obtained, but how does oxygen get to body cells? Internal respiration involves the transportation of gases between the blood and body tissues.

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    Comparing and contrasting photosynthesis and cellular respiration an essay

    Oxygen within the lungs diffuses across the thin epithelium of lung alveoli air sacs into surrounding capillaries containing oxygen depleted blood. At the same time, carbon dioxide diffuses in the opposite direction from the blood to lung alveoli and is expelled. Oxygen rich blood is transported by the circulatory system from lung capillaries to body cells and tissues.

    While oxygen is being dropped off at cells, carbon dioxide is being picked up and transported from tissue cells to the lungs. The oxygen obtained from internal respiration is used by cells in cellular respiration. In order to access the energy stored in the foods we eat, biological molecules composing foods carbohydrates , proteins , etc, must be broken down into forms that the body can utilize.

    This is accomplished through the digestive process where food is broken down and nutrients are absorbed into the blood. As blood is circulated throughout the body, nutrients are transported to body cells. In cellular respiration, glucose obtained from digestion is split into its constituent parts for the production of energy.

    Through a series of steps, glucose and oxygen are converted to carbon dioxide CO 2 , water H 2 O , and the high energy molecule adenosine triphosphate ATP. Carbon dioxide and water formed in the process diffuse into the interstitial fluid surrounding cells. From there, CO 2 diffuses into blood plasma and red blood cells. ATP generated in the process provides the energy needed to perform normal cellular functions, such as macromolecule synthesis, muscle contraction, cilia and flagella movement, and cell division.

    Aerobic cellular respiration consists of three stages: glycolysis , citric acid cycle Krebs Cycle , and electron transport with oxidative phosphorylation.

    In many respects, photosynthesis and cell respiration are complementary reactions within the environment. Most producers i. Interrelationship Between Processes. Photosynthesis and cell respiration both involve the production of chemical energy ATP. In both cases, the production of ATP involves an electron transport chain and chemiosmosis. Comparison of ATP Production. Photosynthesis and cell respiration are in many respects the reverse of one another.

    Differences Between Photosynthesis and Cell Respiration. Brent Cornell. Cell Introduction 2. Cell Structure 3.

    Respiration - Definition and Types

    Membrane Structure 4. Membrane Transport 5. Origin of Cells 6. Cell Division 2: Molecular Biology 1. Metabolic Molecules 2.


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