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Does Leaf Surface Area Affect the Rate of Transpiration in a Plant?

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Introduction

Does Leaf Surface Area Affect the Rate of Transpiration in a Plant? Aim: The aim of my investigation is to find out if the leaf surface area affects the rate of transpiration in a plant. Variables: The variables of this experiment are;- * The leaf surface area * Temperature of the surrounding air * The speed and amount of wind * The amount of light Environmental Factors: Temperature of air The temperature of the air affects the rate of transpiration. If it is a hot day then the heat will evaporate some of the water and then the leaf will have less water and so it will increase the rate at which the leaf can transpire. Wind The wind also affects the rate at which a leaf can transpire. When the wind blows it carries hot air under the leaves which carries some of the water vapour, thus increasing the rate of transpiration in the leaf. Light When there is a lot of light, a leaf will photosynthesis at a faster rate and so the water is used more and therefore with less water the leaf can also increase the rate at which it transpires. ...read more.

Middle

(To do this trace the perimeter of the leaf onto the graph paper then count the amount of whole squares that it covers to estimate the amount of cm2 it covers). Record all of the areas in a table labelling each one from A - C and noting which is which. 3. Select three small sycamore leaves and measure their area too. Record theses measurements as well. 4. Label the smaller leaves D - F and make a note of which is which again. 5. Fill six test tubes with 40ml of cold water, which will be measured out accurately using the measuring cylinder. 6. Place one leaf's stalk into each of the test tubes. 7. Add a drop of oil to the top of each tube; this will prevent evaporation of the water. 8. Mark the start level of water in each tube using an OHP pen. 9. Measure using a ruler in millimetres and mark the level on the side for five consecutive days. 10. Measure the depth of each line and record the data into the table. 11. Take an average level for each day for the larger leaves (A/B/C) ...read more.

Conclusion

The average loss of water for a larger leaf is approximately 9.83mm/day. This estimate has been made by using the averages per day for each of the three larger leaves. This clearly shows that more water was lost from the larger leaves per day on average than of what was from the smaller leaves. Therefore this proves that the larger the surface area on a leaf the higer the amount of water loss through the more stomata, thus the faster rate of transpiration. Evaluation: My experiment was good because the average was taken through doing the experiment once and my prediction was accurate and proved by the experiment. My experiment was bad because not all the water was to an exact even level to begin with and the oil was applied evenly to each test tube. This may have changed the rate of evaporation on each test tube therefore making the test unfair. My experiment can be improved testing the leaves for more days, i.e. five instead of three, and measuring the oil and water more accurately and carefully to make sure that each leaf has the same amount of water to lose and the same amount of oil which may slow down the loss of water as it has water proof characteristics. Biology Coursework Fiona Hibbard Page 1 of 4 ...read more.

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