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Name ______________________________ Date:__________ Period ______

How Is Carbon Cycled?

All life on earth is solar powered.
So how is carbon cycled through the

All life on earth is solar powered plants use

the suns energy and carbon dioxide to
produce oxygen and glucose. We eat the
glucose and breathe in the oxygen and
produce carbon dioxide as a product.
Therefore, we need sunlight to live because
otherwise we would not get any glucose to
produce ATP and plants would not be able to
complete Photosynthesis.

Carbon Cycle

Write the chemical equation for photosynthesis (you already know thisupside down and backwards!!):
6 CO + Energy + 6 HO

CHO + 6 O

What ingredients do autotrophs need in order to produce glucose?

Autotrophs need carbon dioxide, light energy, and water to produce glucose.

How will you set up four test tubes to provide evidence of how carbon is cycled?

this test

Materials Needed / Available:

Bromothmyl Blue
Aquatic Snails
Test Tubes
Tap Water
Water Treatment

Independent Variables: Initial Amount of CO and Bromothyml Blue

Same type of Snails, Same type of Elodea
Dependent Variable: color change of Bromothyml Blue/ amount of CO
1. Create your BTB solution by just covering the bottom of a flask and filling to the 150 mL mark (each tube will get
approx 30 mL)

2. Fill the test tube with the Bromethyl Blue

3. Put elodea in the test tube
4. Repeat step 2 but add only aquatic snails and then elodea and the aquatic snails.
5. Observe the color change in the test tubes.

Hypothesis: Predict what will happen in each test tube by shading the color you think the bromothymol blue in the
tubes will be in 24 hours. Include which independent variables will be applied in each tube by using text or illustration.
Then explain why you think the test tube will be the color you think. Finally, use color to shade in the tube.
If then.


Test Tube 1
There would be no CO in the test tube so the solution will be basic.

Color: blue
Test Tube 2
The elodea will use all of the CO while going through photosynthesis and the solution will be more basic.

Color: blue
Test Tube 3
The snail will create more CO during the process of cellular respiration which will cause the tube to change color.

Test Tube 4
The snail will produce CO and the elodea will use the CO to produce oxygen which the snail will use. The cycle
will continue which would cause no color change.

Color: neutral (greenish blue)

Name ______________________________ Date:__________ Period ______

Design a Data Table Below to organize your data:


Test Tube and Contents

Amount of Carbon Cycled

Color Before

Hypothesized Color

Color After

Test Tube 1
Contents: BTB (Control)











Blue Green


Test Tube 2
Contents: BTB, Elodea
Test Tube 3
Contents: BTB, Aquatic
Test Tube 4
Contents: BTB, Elodea,
Aquatic Snails

Test Tubes before at 0 hours

Test Tube after 24 hours

The hypothesis for test tubes 2, 3, and 4 turned out correct. In test tube 1, the data showed that the test tube
turned a turquoise because some CO got into the test tube causing the bromethyml blue to turn more yellow. In test
tube 2, the test tube turned a darker blue because the elodea performed photosynthesis and took in more CO out of
the solution, causing it to turn blue. In test tube 3, the snails performed cellular respiration and released CO causing the
solution to turn a lime green color. In test tube 4, the elodea performed photosynthesis and released oxygen for the
snails to perform cellular respiration and release carbon dioxide. This caused the colors to stay at a neutral color
between blue and yellow: green. Carbon is cycled through photosynthesis and cellular respiration. Test tube 4 showed
an example of the carbon cycle because the elodea used carbon dioxide to produce oxygen for the snails to use the
oxygen to produce carbon dioxide. The cycle was not shown in test tubes 2 and 3 because the cycle only occurred
halfway. The elodea only produced oxygen and the snails only produced carbon dioxide.