|MadSci Network: Botany|
You are correct that increasing the light level is one way to increase photosynthesis for most plants, assuming they aren't shade plants where increasing light too much will actually reduce photosynthesis. The light can be increased with electric lights, either by raising the light level or by providing light longer each day. Light level might be increased by changing locations, by cutting down surrounding plants that are shading your plant and by increasing the spacing between plants. You can also do something exotic like use mirrors to increase the light level. The general equation for photosynthesis provides two more possible ways to increase photosynthesis, i.e. by raising the concentration of the reactants. Other common limitations to plant growth, and thus photosynthesis, are: 1. deficiency of mineral nutrients, especially nitrogen 2. toxicity of mineral nutrients, such as boron or zinc 3. toxicity of other elements, such as sodium or chromium 4. soil pH too high or too low 5. high soil salinity 6. diseases 7. insects and other pests 8. temperatures too high or too low 9. soil provides too much mechanical resistance to root growth 10. for C-3 plants under high light and high temperatures, the normal level of oxygen in the atmosphere causes photorespiration, which reduces photosynthesis 11. competition from other plants, including allelopathy 12. air pollution, such as acid rain Two general ways to optimize plant growth or photosynthesis are to grow plants in greenhouses or growth chambers where the environment can be more easily optimized. Another approach to increasing plant growth or photosynthesis is breeding and selection of faster growing or higher yielding plants. Reference What happens during the process called "photorespiration"? Photosynthesis limitation
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