Photosynthetic Efficiency

Last updated: January 22, 2017

What Does Photosynthetic Efficiency Mean?

Photosynthetic efficiency refers to the amount of light energy plants and algae that are able to convert into chemical energy through photosynthesis. This can range from 0.1% to 8% depending on plant species. Many staple food crops have a higher than average photosynthetic efficiency that allows for high yields.

Safeopedia Explains Photosynthetic Efficiency

The effect of air pollution on photosynthesis is of concern in maintaining natural systems and in food production. The EPA reports that pollution may even stop photosynthesis altogether in certain scenarios. Studies conducted on edible crops found, for example, that ozone pollution caused a marked reduction in seed-size in grain crops. With this and other problems and threats in mind, the EPA aims to curb emissions by 30% by the year 2030.


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