5 Differences between Absorption Spectrum and Action Spectrum

Photosynthetic pigments absorb light only in the visible region of the spectrum (390nm-760nm).The action spectrum peak of chlorophyll is almost same as that of absorption spectrum indicating that chlorophyll is the primary pigment in photosynthesis.
Absorption Spectrum vs Action Spectrum

                                       Absorption Spectrum vs Action Spectrum
Absorption Spectrum
Action Spectrum
Absorption Spectrum is the graphic representation of the different wavelengths of light absorbed by the different pigments in a leaf during photosynthesis
Action Spectrum is the graphic representation of the effectiveness of different wavelengths of light in photosynthesis

Plot showing intensity of light absorbed relative to its wavelength

Plot showing relative efficiency of photosynthesis produced by light of different wavelengths
Explains the relationship between quality of light and absorbing capacity of pigments
Explains the relationship between photosynthetic activity in relation to different wavelengths of light
Chlorophyll absorb blue and red light
Carotenoids absorb violet and blue light
The maximum photosynthesis occurs in blue and red light
Absorption of different wavelengths of light by pigments can be measured using spectrophotometer.
In action spectrum, the rate of photosynthesis is measured as amount of carbon dioxide fixation, oxygen production, NADP+ reduction etc.
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