The Effect of Temperature on Pea Respiration

Cellular respiration is the process by which all eukaryotic organisms--organisms with complex cells--produce usable cellular energy from food and oxygen. Peas are seeds that begin respiring when they germinate, and temperature can have an impact on the rate of pea respiration.

pea pod
credit: pea pod image by Ziablik from <a href=''></a>

Temperature Range

The ideal temperature range for pea respiration to occur is between 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit) and 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit).

Higher Temperature

As temperature increases within the defined range, the rate of cellular respiration increases as well.

Lower Temperatures

As temperature decreases within the optimal range, the rate of cellular respiration decreases as well.


Cellular respiration depends on the action of cellular catalysts called enzymes, and all enzymes are known to work the fastest at certain optimal temperatures. Also, molecules, in general, move faster at higher temperatures, and faster-moving molecules react faster with each other, which gives higher reaction rates in processes like cellular respiration.

Temperatures Can Get Too High

The rate of cellular respiration will slow down as temperature exceeds the optimal range. This is because enzymes and other cellular proteins will start to be "shaken apart" by the excessive energy associated with high temperatures.