A chemical process that takes place in living cells, by which some living organisms (such as green plants and algae) convert energy in sunlight into chemical energy. The compounds produced are then used to provide the energy for cells in the process of respiration. During photosynthesis most plants absorb carbon dioxide from their surroundings and the carbon is transferred to more complex molecules, such as sugars and starch. Photosynthesis is therefore a key process in the carbon cycle.

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