It can be argued that photosynthesis is the most important reaction occurring on this planet, since nearly all life on earth depends on solar energy captured by plants. Scientists want to study how plants grow, which drives the question of how ecosystems work. Global climate change research examines how rising levels of CO2, temperature and other alterations in climate or atmosphere could affect the ecology as well as agriculture.

Measuring photosynthesis is a short-term, fast response tool. The effect(s) of light, CO2, humidity, temperature, chemical, or biological factors on leaf gas exchange can be measured within seconds or just a few minutes. Measuring changes in plant growth responses is simple and very useful, but researchers may also want to investigate short-term physiological responses. For example, some plants are more drought tolerant because they can reduce water loss by closing down stomates, while others deal with water stress by having deeper roots to exploit a larger volume of the soil reserve. Leaf-level gas exchange measurement will quickly distinguish between these two strategies.

LI-COR Photosynthesis Systems:

The LI-6400XT and LI-6800 Portable Photosynthesis Systems are compact, rugged, field portable instruments able to provide researchers with detailed information on plant responses such as CO2 assimilation rates, stomatal conductance, intercellular CO2 concentrations, carboxylation and light use efficiencies, and CO2 and light compensation points. The LI-6800 is our newest system, featuring a touch-screen interface and improvements in gas analyzer precision, better control over chamber conditions, and more.

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