Photosynthesis can be performed on any part of a leaf, yet many plants orient their leaves in different ways and are composed of different leaf anatomies. In this experiment we attempted to discover if there is a significant difference between photosynthesis on the top and bottom of Nerium oleander, a dicot that orients its dorsal face towards the sun, and Pandanus baptistii, a monocot that does not orient its leaves specifically to the sun. To perform this experiment, we used both the LI-6400 and the LiCor Integrating Sphere. With the LI-6400, we measured the photosynthetic rate of the top and bottom faces of N. oleander and P. baptistii in-situ. Through the use of the LiCor Integrating Sphere, we were able to compare leaf absorbance, reflectance, and transmittance on the top and bottom faces of the two plant species. We hypothesized that N. oleander would have a statistically significant difference in the photosynthetic rate of its top and bottom leaves, and the P. baptistii would not have a statistically significant difference in the photosynthetic rate of its top and bottom leaves. The data gathered supported our hypothesis, illustrated in Figures 3 and 4. The results from our experiment suggested that there is a statistically significant difference between the photosynthetic rate of the top and bottom of dicot leaves, and lack of a statistically significant difference in monocots due to their orientation of leaves and their plant leaf anatomy.
Arima, Ryan and Gonzalez, Jacob, "Top and Bottom Photosynthetic Activity in Nerium oleander and Pandanus baptistii" (2013). Pepperdine University, Featured Research. Paper 70.