the oxidation of carbohydrates in many higher plants in which they get oxygen from light and then release carbon dioxide, somewhat different from photosynthesis.
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British Dictionary definitions for photorespiration
(in plants) a reaction that occurs during photosynthesis in which oxygen is assimilated and used to oxidize carbohydrates, with the release of carbon dioxide: differs from normal respiration in that there is no production of energy in the form of ATP
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Scientific definitions for photorespiration
The chemical combination of carbohydrates with oxygen in plants with the release of carbon dioxide. Photorespiration requires the presence of light, is catalyzed in the chloroplasts by the same enzymes that catalyze the combination of carbohydrates with carbon dioxide during photosynthesis, and occurs when oxygen concentrations in the cell are high. Photorespiration typically takes place during conditions of high light intensity, dryness, and heat (often resulting in the closure of stomata), when the amount of carbon dioxide entering the plant is reduced, and the amount of oxygen produced by photosynthesis accumulates. Photorespiration thus acts to produce carbon dioxide when it is unavailable and acts as a check on photosynthesis and on the productivity of the plant. Unlike cellular respiration, photorespiration does not produce any ATP or NADH, and so consumes chemical energy rather than produces it. Many angiosperms have a supplemental method of carbon-dioxide uptake that minimizes losses from photorespiration.
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