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Photosynthetic Pathways and Physiological Responses to Climate Change


As an undergraduate Biological Sciences teacher, you can use this set of computer-based tools to teach about differences in photosynthesis in different types of plants (C3, C4 and CAM) and how they are affected by climate change: which is more resilient or less resilient. You can discuss all these basic concepts in plant physiology using the case study: Uganda’s massive expansion of Bamboo, a C3 plant, to address the issue of heavy deforestation, under changing climatic conditions.

This lesson plan includes resources that teach about the C3, C4 photosynthetic pathways in plants and describes the differences in their physiological responses to changing environmental conditions like rising atmospheric concentrations of CO2 and temperatures. You can also use these resources to teach photorespiration, nutrient and water uptake, stomatal conductance, carbon -fixation and, more importantly, homoeostasis for photosynthetic efficiency under these varying conditions. Use this lesson plan to explain how this understanding can be applied to devise climate adaptation strategies by using the example of large-scale Bamboo plantation in Uganda.

Thus, the use of this lesson plan allows you to integrate the teaching of a climate science topic with a core topic in Biological Sciences (specifically Plant Physiology).

Learning Outcome

The tools in this lesson plan will enable students to:

  1. Discuss the differences in C3, C4 and CAM plants
  2. Explain the evolution of C4, CAM plants in response to climate change
  3. Explain the impact of environmental variations on photosynthetic efficiencies in C3, C4 plants
  4. Describe how climate related factors affect photosynthesis in plants
  5. Discuss the role of Bamboo in restoring the denuded forest vegetation in Uganda


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