Temperature is a major factor controlling the rate of photosynthesis in all plants. The algae are an ideal group in which to study the fundamental responses of photosynthesis to temperature free from complications inherent in research with more complex higher plants. In addition, photosynthetic algae occur in the hottest and coldest environments in which autotrophic plants can be found. This review focuses on three main aspects of the response of photosynthesis to temperature 1) the short-term effect of temperature on photosynthetic metabolism, 2) phenotypic changes in photosynthetic metabolism, and 3) genetic differences in photosynthetic metabolism between algal species or ecotypes from different thermal environments.
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