At what time do plants not respire oxygen?  

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gsenviro eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Respiration is the process in which glucose is converted to energy. It can be represented by the following chemical equation:

`C_6H_12O_6 +6O_2 -> 6CO_2 + 6H_2O + ATP`

In the process, glucose reacts with oxygen to generate carbon dioxide, water and ATP molecules. The main purpose of respiration is the production of energy in the form of ATP molecules. Energy is needed for survival, growth and functioning of life forms. 

Plants undergo respiration all the time because they need energy to carry out their functions. It is just that they undergo photosynthesis during the sunlight hours. In this process, plants consume carbon dioxide and water and generate glucose and oxygen. Plants produce a lot more oxygen than they consume during respiration. This has caused many people to believe that plants undergo photosynthesis during the day time and respiration at night time. In other words, many believe that plants produce oxygen during daytime and consume it during night time. However, this is not true. Plants consume oxygen all the time. They simply do not produce it during non-sunlight hours.

Hence, there is no time when plants are not respiring oxygen. They use it all the time.

Hope this helps. 

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