Biology

What is the Difference between Action Spectrum and Absorption Spectrum?

Action Spectrum VS Absorption Spectrum

Difference between action spectrum and absorption spectrum:

The action spectrum of photosynthesis is similar to the absorption spectrum of chlorophylls. There are same peaks and valley for the absorption of light and consumption of CO2.

However, the action spectrum of photosynthesis does not exactly parallel to the absorption spectrum of chlorophyll. The peaks of the action spectrum of photosynthesis are comparatively broader than the absorption spectrum of chlorophylls. Similarly the valleys of the action spectrum are narrow and not deep. It indicates that the photosynthesis in the most absorbed range (in blue and red) is more than the absorption of these wave lengths by chlorophylls. Similarly photosynthesis in 500 — 600 nm (green light) is more than the absorption of green light by the chlorophylls.

This difference occurs due to accessory pigments like carotenoids. These accessory pigments absorb light in these zones and transfer some of the absorbed light to chlorophyll. This chlorophyll then converts this light energy to chemical energy. When equal intensities of light are given, there is more photosynthesis in the red part than in the blue part of the spectrum.

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