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Most people are aware that plants undergo photosynthesis, a process by which they convert sunlight and carbon dioxide in sugar and water. But not as many realize that plants also undergo respiration, which is the reverse of this process. In a two-part activity, students will examine the processes of respiration and photosynthesis with the aquatic plant, Elodea, by measuring how it changes the pH of water, and examine the process of respiration by using the same technique with seeds of the mung bean (Phaseolus aureus). They will also examine a case study involving the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by slash-and-burn agriculture.
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