(5.9D) Carbon dioxide-oxygen Cycle
The student is expected to identify the significance of the carbon dioxide-oxygen cycle to the survival of plants and animals.
Carbon dioxide is a key ingredient for the process of photosynthesis, a process in which plants use solar energy to produce food and release oxygen. Oxygen is essential for respiration, whereby plants and animals release energy from food and emit carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide-oxygen cycle is directly related to both photosynthesis and cellular respiration, two processes critical to life on Earth.
During photosynthesis, energy from the sun is stored as chemical energy in sugar molecules (which contain carbon atoms from carbon dioxide). As described under TEKS objective 5.9B, the carbon cycle closely parallels the flow of energy from the sun to producers and consumers. Use these resources to review the carbon cycle with students.
Plants are able to use energy from sunlight to manufacture their own food through photosynthesis. This process, which is critical to all life on Earth, is explored in this section.