Acid rain is an environmental factor that greatly alters the pH of both the soil and the water that a plant obtains. Acid rain is a form of precipitation that has a pH level of 4. 3. Due to its high acidity acid rain has grave impacts on the environment. Acid rain has the capability to reduce the biodiversity of an environment by polluting lakes and by reducing the defenses of vegetation and plants in the ecosystem. When animals, such as fish, are exposed to acid rain they are usually unable to survive. Acid rain can affect lakes and other watery environments in two ways, chronic and episodic.
The chronic effect is a long term effect caused by constant acidic precipitation throughout years, this causes an increased acidity of water while reducing the availability of nutrients for the inhabitants of this ecosystem. The episodic effect , however, is a sudden increase in the acidity of a body of water. This is usually caused by heavy amounts of acidic precipitation during a short period of time. Episodic effects also occur in the spring, in areas where winter snow has melted and releases sulfates and nitrates concentrated within it.
This type of acidification causes changes in water chemistry that can be fatal to animals within the body of water. However, when plants are exposed to acid rain they grow at a slower rate and their defenses can be lowered due to the high acidity of this precipitation. Acid rain also impacts plants by decreasing the obtainable nutrients while increasing the amount of aluminum released, which can be toxic to plants, and causing damage to leaves, thus decreasing the production of energy through photosynthesis.
Ecology Lab Report
These impacts of pH and acid rain on plants led us to test how different levels of pH in the water source of a plant impact the growth. Our experiment would est.. How different substances with different pH levels would impact the growth of a plant. We would use substances with pH levels higher and lower than that of acid rain to simulate the varying effects of acid rain on plant growth. After finding a list of substances along with their pH levels we found how these substances would impact the growth of a plant.
Pure water is the essential liquid that plants need to survive, it has a neutral pH of 7. Water contains nutrients that plants require to grow. Vinegar can have varying effects on plant growth, if the pH of the oil is too basic, the vinegar can aid in growth, but if the pH of the soil is too acidic or neutral the vinegar can kill the plant. Juices, sodas, and storage have pH levels of 3, although plants may use these substances to aid growth, they will later harm the root systems and decrease the amount of nutrients received by plants.
Milk contains calcium which plants require to grow, but it also contains a large amount of proteins and carbohydrates that are unnecessary for plant growth. Eggs, which have a pH level of 8, add calcium to the soil in which the plant is growing in and gives vitamins to the plant. Ammonia has a pH of 11 which makes it more alkaline and less corrosive. Ammonia also contains nitrogen, which many plants require to function. Soapy water has a pH level of 12 and contains some of the same nutrients as water.
Soapy water is more helpful when growing outdoor plants because it prevents the plant from obtaining too much water by coating the leaves in a soapy film, despite this advantage, soapy water can also cause plant respiration to decrease. For this experiment we decided to grow bean plants, due to the fact that they have a fast germination rate and are estimated to grow about 6 centimeters in just a few days. Bean seeds grow the best in pure water and absorb as much water as possible.
If these plants were to be exposed to acid rain, they would experience impacts similar to those experienced by other plants due to their nutrient preference. Why we chose this experiment and How we are testing it: We chose this experiment because it relates to ecology by demonstrating the impact of acid rain on plant growth. We will test the effect of acid rain on plant growth by testing how substances of different pH levels impact plant growth. We will test this experiment by placing derby bush beans in a mix of cotton and anon.
We elected to use this instead of soil because it not only aids in the germination process but it also provides the experiment with less variables, because we no longer have to take the pH of the soil and the nutrients of the soil into consideration. Once the seeds are placed in the cotton and rayon mix in the pots they will be sprayed with designated liquid each day for 8 days and they will be measured when they begin to sprout. We have decided to use vinegar (pH of 2), Storage (pH of 3), Milk (pH of 6), Water (pH of 7), Eggs (pH of 8), Ammonia pH of 1 1), and Soapy Water (pH of 12) as our substances to test the effects of PH.
All of these substances have pH levels that are either higher or lower than that of acid rain, this will allow us to test how increased or decreased acidity of acid rain would impact the growth and development of plants. Hypothesis: From our research on how pH and acid rain impact plants we hypothesize that if plants are watered with substances of varying pH level, such as vinegar (pH of (pH of 1 1), and Soapy Water (pH of 12), then the plants watered with a neutral pH, pure water, will have the greatest growth, due to the fact that most plants, including bean plants, have optimal growth when watered with pure water.
Meanwhile, those watered with substances with pH levels lower than those of acid rain, vinegar and storage, will have no growth. The seeds watered with substances with a pH higher than that of acid rain, milk, eggs, ammonia, and soapy water, will grow better than those with a pH lower than that of acid rain, with the growth increasing as the pH increasing. Materials: Derby Bush Beans Cotton Rayon vinegar (pH of 2) Storage (pH of 3) Milk (pH of 6) Water (pH of 7) Eggs (pH of 8) Ammonia (pH of 11) Soapy Water (pH of 12) pH Paper
Spray Bottles Pots Labels Our leers Procedure: To begin this experiment obtain materials and prepare the substances that will be used (to prepare the eggs we liquefied them by placing them in a blender, everything else was already pre-prepared and already in liquid form). Once the materials are obtained and the substances are prepared, be sure to test the pH levels of each substance to assure that they are at the accurate PH. Next label the bottles that will hold the substances to avoid any confusion, also be sure that all the spray settings are the same so that all the seeds are sprayed evenly and accurately.
Be sure to also label the pots according to what the seeds will be watered with. Once labeling is complete, prepare the pots. Place an even amount of cotton and rayon balls in each pot (we placed three cotton balls and three rayon balls in each pot), this will speed up the germination process. Once the pots are labeled and prepared, place two seeds in each pot, this enables you to run two trials simultaneously and to assure that both trials are watered evenly and receive the same amount of sunlight. Once the materials are prepared, spray each seed 15 times each with their designated substance Observations:
Day 1 On Day one we obtained materials and planted the seeds. We placed the seeds in cotton and rayon because that would aid in speeding up the germination rate. We placed two seeds in each pot to run two trial simultaneously. At this point the seeds had no growth and were not yet germinating. Today we sprayed the seeds with the designated substance for the first time. We sprayed each seed 15 times each. Day 2 There has been no change in the seeds since the previous day, although most of them appear to be soaking up their designated substance since some of them now have a wrinkled outer coating.
Today we watered the seeds once more, spraying them again 15 times each. There is no growth in the seeds for trial two either. Day 3 The seeds appear to have begun the germination process, since some of the seeds, especially those of water, have small sprouts. However, there is no true measurable growth. We sprayed the seeds with the designated substances once more. The seeds in the second trial still exhibit no growth. Day 4 The seeds sprayed with either ammonia, vinegar, juice, or milk have exhibited no growth, however the plants sprayed with water grew about . 5 centimeters.
Meanwhile the seeds sprayed with soap and those sprayed with eggs have begun to sprout, but there is no real measurable growth since the sprouts seem to be too close to the seed to actually measure. We sprayed the plants again today. Day 5 There has been no change since the previous days, the seeds sprayed with ammonia, vinegar, juice, and milk still exhibit no growth. The seeds sprayed with water remain at . 5 centimeters, while the seeds sprayed with either soap or eggs still have no measurable growth. We sprayed the plants with the designated substances again.
The next time the plants are to be measured will be in 3 days u to the weekend. Day 6 It has been 3 days since the plants were last measured, this is due to the weekend, however there is still no growth in the seeds sprayed with ammonia, the seeds sprayed with vinegar also exhibit no growth. The plants sprayed with milk are now exhibiting measurable growth, they are now at . 5 centimeters, the seeds sprayed with juice are also at . 5 centimeters. Meanwhile the seeds sprayed with soapy water and the seeds sprayed with eggs now exhibit measurable growth. Both these groups have seeds at about 1 centimeter.
The seed sprayed with water has grown to 2 centimeters. Day 7 There has been no change since the previous day. There is still no growth in the seeds sprayed with ammonia, nor in the seeds sprayed with vinegar. Despite the lack of growth, the seeds sprayed with vinegar and the seeds sprayed with ammonia appear to be drying out. The seed sprayed with water is at 2 centimeters, while the seed sprayed with soapy water is at 1 centimeters. The seed sprayed with milk and the seed sprayed with juice are at . 5 centimeters, while the seed sprayed with eggs is at 1 centimeter. Day 8 Today is our final day measuring.
In trial 1 the ammonia and the vinegar exhibit o growth. The seed sprayed with water grew to a final height of 3 centimeters, while the one sprayed with soapy water grew to 1. 5 centimeters. The seed sprayed with eggs and the seed sprayed with storage grew to 1 centimeter each, while the seed sprayed with milk grew to . 5 centimeters The seeds in trial 2 were also measured one last time today. The seeds sprayed with vinegar, milk, eggs, and ammonia exhibited no growth. The seed sprayed with storage grew to . 5 centimeters while those sprayed with water and those sprayed with soapy water grew to 1 centimeter each.