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The Effect of Salt Water on Plant Growth
Transcript of The Effect of Salt Water on Plant Growth
Does the amount of salt added to the water that plants are watered with effect plant growth?
The Effect of Salt Water on Plant Growth
25g of salt (NaCl)
75 Wisconsin Fast Grow Plant seeds
a graduated cylinder that measures in mL
an electric metric scale
25 mini cups (3 oz.)
The goal of the experiment is to determine if there is a direct relationship between salinity of water and plant growth.
Common salt's chemical formula is NaCl.The scientific name for NaCl is Sodium Chloride. Salt is hygroscopic (Salt (NaCl), Encyclopedia Britannica.) Hygroscopic means that it seeks and holds onto water molecules from the surrounding area. Salt is colorless and odorless when pure, but can contain some color when impure.
By, Andrew Ceonzo
After conducting the experiment, the hypothesis was proven correct. The data measured from the experiment proves that as salt is added to the water that a plant is watered with, the plant growth will decrease. The 1.78 cm decrease in the plants growth between the plants with 0 grams of salt added clearly proves that the hypothesis was correct. This data means that if the salinity of farming soil and water could be decreased, while still maintaining minimums needed for the plants to grow, farming efficiency could be increased.
Salts are also important to the survival of plants, but when they occur in excess they can cause harm and even kill plants with low salt tolerances.
Salinity is when soluble salts are at high levels in water and soil. Salinity can occur both naturally or artificially. It happens naturally when mineral rocks disintegrate, and it happens artificially as a result of human involvement in the area (Salt of the Earth- How Do the Plants Cope?, Hannick.) When salt is in soil it absorbs the water, therefore stripping the plants of water.
When salt dissolves, the sodium and chloride ions separate.
The sodium and chloride ions are absorbed by the roots of the plants and quickly travel up the shoot and throughout the plant causing harm.
When Na+ ions reach the leaves they kill off older leaves. With fewer leaves, completing the process of photosynthesis becomes a challenge. If photosynthesis does not occur, plants cannot maintain homeostasis and die.
When the plants do not die as a result of high salinity, the plants have had a lack of food, which has inhibited plant growth.
First fill mini cup ¾ full of potting soil. Repeat for each of the 25 mini cups.
Arrange the cups into five rows of five cups. Mark first cup in each row with amount of salt that will be mixed with the water that these plants will be watered with.
The first row will be marked with a 0g because there will be 0 grams of salt in the water. The following rows will be marked 0.5g, 1g, 1.5g, 2g.
If the amount of salt is increased, then the plant growth will decrease. This is because the amounts of salt will stress the plant’s ability to maintain homeostasis, and plant growth will consequently be lower.
Hannick, Nerissa. “Salt of the Earth- How Do the Plants Cope?” Society of Experimental Biology. Society of Experimental Biology, July 2005. Web. 14 Jan. 2014. <http://www.sebiology.org/publications/Bulletin/July05/salinity.html>.
Perry, Leonard. “Salt Damage to Plants.” University of Vermont. U of Vermont, n.d. Web. 13 Jan. 2014. <http://www.uvm.edu/pss/ppp/articles/salt1.htm>.
Salt. Table. Encyclopædia Britannica. Web. 9 Jan. 2014. <http://school.eb.com/levels/high/article/111082/media?assemblyId=61723>.
“Salt (NaCl).” Britannica School. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2014. Web. 9 Jan. 2014. <http://school.eb.com/levels/high/article/111082>.
Williams, Lauffer. Wisconsin Fast Plant Drawing. The Pingry Biology Wiki.
PBWorks, n.d. Web. 30 Jan. 2014. <http://pingrybiology.pbworks.com/w/
The plants with 0 grams of salt in their water not only grew the tallest on average, but also had the fullest stalks, biggest leaves, and healthiest green color.
The range of growth was 0.8 cm.The median is 4.3 cm.
The plants with 0.5 grams of salt added had a shorter average growth and grew smaller leaves and had less of a vibrant green color.
There was a range of 0.6 cm in plant growth. The median is 3.7 cm.
The plants with 1.0 grams of salt in their water grew fewer leaves, had a slightly brown color, and when they grew, they did not stand completely erect and drooped slightly.
There was a 0.5 cm range in plant growth. The median is 3.2 cm.
The plants with 1.5 grams of salt added had an observable reaction to the salt. The plants did not grow well and 4 of the five plants wilted almost completely. The stalks were a mostly brown color and the leaves were small and shriveled.
There was a 0.3cm range in plant growth. The mode of the set is 3.0cm, which occurs twice.The median is 3.0 cm.
The plants with 2.0 grams of salt added grew the worst of the five trials. The stalks of the plants were very thin and the plants completely wilted. The plants were a brownish green color and had very small leaves. Two of the plants died.
Thee was a 0.6 cm range in plant growth. The median of the set is 2.6 cm.
If there had been a trial done with 4.0 g of salt the mean plant growth would be expected to be around 0.76 cm. The equation to make this prediction is y=-0.872(4.0) + 4.252.
The slope of the line, -0.872, means that for every increase of 1 g of salt, the plant growth will decrease by 0.872.
The line of best fit for this experiment accurately shows the relationship between the salt and plant growth. That relationship is a negative correlation, resulting in a negatively oriented line. The line shows the decrease in plant growth as the salt concentration is increased.
There is a 40.8% decrease in plant growth from the plants with 0 g of salt added to the plants to the plants with 2.0 g of salt added.
When 0 grams of salt was added the plants grew the tallest. Plant 1 grew 4.0 cm, Plant 2 grew 4.6 cm, Plant 3 grew 4.3 cm, Plant 4 grew 4.8 cm, and Plant 5 grew 4.1 cm. The plant height at 0 grams of salt was consistent throughout each plant. The range of the plants with 0 grams of salt in their water was 0.8 cm, which is large in respect to the total height of each plant. The mean plant growth was 4.36 cm.
The plants with 0.5 grams of salt in their water the second tallest according to the mean plant growth. Plant 1 grew 4.1 cm, Plant 2 grew 3.6 cm, Plant 3 grew 3.7 cm, Plant 4 grew 3.9 cm, Plant 5 grew 3.5 cm. The range of plant growth was 0.6 cm. The mean plant growth at 0.5 grams of salt added was 3.76. The plant growth decreased by 0.6 cm on average from 0 grams of salt added to 0.5 grams of salt added according to the means of each set of plants.
The plants with 1.0 grams of salt added grew the third tallest according to the mean of the set. Plant 1 grew 3.2 cm, Plant 2 grew 3.0, Plant 3 grew 3.1 cm, Plant 4 grew 3.4 cm, Plant 5 grew 3.5 cm. The range of plant growth was 0.5 cm. The mean plant growth of the group was 3.24 cm. The is a 1.12 cm decrease of plant growth according to the means from 0 grams of salt added to 1.0 grams of salt added.
The plants with 1.5 grams of salt added grew the fourth tallest. Plant 1 grew 3.0 cm, Plant 2 grew 3.1 cm, Plant 3 grew 2.8 cm, Plant 4 grew 2.9 cm, Plant 5 grew 3.0 cm. The mean plant growth was 2.96 cm. The is a decrease of 1.4 cm from 0 grams of salt to 1.5 grams of salt added according to the means of each set.
The plants with 2.0 grams of salt added grew to the shortest average height. Plant 1 grew 2.7 cm, Plant 2 grew 2.3 cm, Plant 3 grew 2.9 cm, Plant 4 grew 2.6 cm, Plant 5 grew 2.4 cm. Plants 2 and 5 gave in to the high concentration of salt and died. Plant 2 died on the ninth day, and Plant 5 died on day 10. The mean plant growth for this set of plants was 2.58 cm. There was a 1.78 cm decrease in average plant growth from the plants with 0 grams of salt added and the plants with 2.0 grams of salt added.
The optimal growing temperature for the Wisconsin Fast Grows is between 26 degrees celsius and 29 degrees celsius. This could not not be maintained throughout the entire experiment because of the opening and closing of windows and doors in the space where the experiment was conducted. Another error was that the plants needed to be transported from one space to another and during a 45 minute car trip the plants could have received damage. These were the only experimental errors and the experiment was conducted as planned aside from these errors.
There was a decrease in the mean of each set every time the salt was increased. The plant growth decreased by 0.6 cm on average from 0 grams of salt added to 0.5 grams of salt added according to the means of each set of plants. There is a 1.12 cm decrease of plant growth according to the means from 0 grams of salt added to 1.0 grams of salt added. The is a decrease of 1.4 cm from 0 grams of salt to 1.5 grams of salt added according to the means of each set.There was a 1.78 cm decrease in average plant growth from the plants with 0 grams of salt added and the plants with 2.0 grams of salt added. If the salt added was increased to 2.5 grams the plant growth would decrease and would be approximately 1.98 cm.
Experiments in the future could explore how the salinity of the soil affects plant growth. Also, further experimentation could be done on how hardness or softness of water affects plant growth. Experimentation could be done to see if different amounts minerals added to the water used to water the plants affects the plant growth.
Next, plant 2 or 3 seeds in each cup. Give each plant 10 mL of regular water so that the seeds will begin to grow. Place plants under constant light, because if there is not constant light the plants will die.
On day two, water each plant with 10 mL of water with the designated amount of salt for its row.
On day four, water each the same way as on day two.
Repeat the watering process every other day until the plants have been watered a total of five times with the salt water, not including day one.
The day after the plants have been watered the fifth time, record the data, but do not water the plant. Measure in either centimeters or millimeters. If the plants are not measured, they will shrivel and die, therefore effecting the data that will be recorded.