Photosynthesis and Respiration Process

A fundamental aspect of nutrient uptake and choosing the right fertilizer is understanding the processes in plants.

March 16, 2022
2 mins

Managing nutrients for optimal plant growth is a specialist job. Processes in plants play a fundamental role in the uptake and efficiency of nutrients. Fertilizers are only effective when applied in the correct way and at the right time.

Growth = Photosynthesis – Respiration 


Simply put, the difference between photosynthesis and respiration is growth. If a plant is able to produce more during photosynthesis than it consumes during respiration, it will grow. Growth is in fact an increase in dry matter (mass). 


A quick recap: Photosynthesis is the name for the complex reaction where plants turn energy from the sun into sugars. In other words, a plant takes carbon dioxide from the air and water from the soil, and combines them to form carbohydrates (sugar). The oxygen that is released in the process is a waste product. Photosynthesis depends on temperature and light exposure, and occurs only during the day. 


Plants (like humans) burn sugars and produce carbon dioxide in respiration. In addition to sugars, respiration also requires oxygen and water. Unlike photosynthesis, respiration does not require light. Respiration occurs both during the day and night. 

Plant growth: the process of photosynthesis.