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In this investigation we are going to compare the water loss from the different leaves over a fixed period of time.

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Introduction

Year 11 Biology Investigation Water Loss from Leaves In this investigation we are going to compare the water loss from the different leaves over a fixed period of time. We will need: Preliminary: Experiment: 1 Laurel Leaf 2 Boss Clamps 1 Silver Birch 4 Silver Birch Leaves 1 Hawthorn Leaf 4 Laurel Leaves 1 Forsythia Leaf 4 Hawthorn Leaves 1 Sycamore Leaf 4 Forsythia Leaves Clear Nail Varnish 4 Sycamore Leaves Forceps 15 Paper Clips Scalpel Permanent Pen Sellotape Pan Balance 5 Microscope Slides String Microscope (x7) Method: Preliminary Work As a preliminary experiment, we need to discover the amount of stomata in a section of each of the leaves. We need to do this, because since the stomata are an opening in the leaf where water is more likely to escape from, therefore, the more stomata, the greater the water loss. To do this, we will take one of each leaf and paint an area of the bottom of them with some clear nail varnish. We will then carefully peel off a flake of dried nail varnish with the forceps and scalpel. We will then place the flake on a microscope slide and tape it down. We will view the slide under a x7 microscope and count the stomata. This is recorded below: Plant Name Number of Stomata Laurel 26 Silver Birch 17 Sycamore 11 Hawthorn 9 Forsythia 41 Experiment: We are going to take 3 leaves of each different type and number each leaf 1 to 3 using a permanent pen on the top surface of the leaf. ...read more.

Middle

Leaf 1 Leaf 2 Leaf 3 0 0.91 0.71 1.09 3 0.77 0.61 0.93 24 0.32 0.24 0.42 27 0.31 0.24 0.42 52 0.31 0.25 0.44 Hawthorn Time of Weighing (hours) Weight (grams) Leaf 1 Leaf 2 Leaf 3 0 0.14 0.14 0.19 3 0.12 0.11 0.09 24 0.05 0.09 0.09 27 0.07 0.08 0.10 52 0.07 0.08 0.11 Forsythia Time of Weighing (hours) Weight (grams) Leaf 1 Leaf 2 Leaf 3 0 0.62 0.56 0.57 3 0.56 0.54 0.55 24 0.47 0.41 0.45 27 0.45 0.40 0.42 52 0.38 0.33 0.36 Averaged Results and Percentages: Laurel Time (hours) Average Weight (grams) Water Loss (%) 0 1.88 0 3 1.79 4.8 24 1.65 12.2 27 1.62 13.8 52 1.50 20.2 Silver Birch Time (hours) Average Weight (grams) Water Loss (%) 0 0.14 0 3 0.13 7.1 24 0.06 57.1 27 0.05 64.3 52 0.06 57.1 Sycamore Time (hours) Average Weight (grams) Water Loss (%) 0 0.90 0 3 0.77 15.4 24 0.33 63.3 27 0.32 64.4 52 0.33 63.3 Hawthorn Time (hours) Average Weight (grams) Water Loss (%) 0 0.16 0 3 0.11 31.2 24 0.08 50.0 27 0.08 50.0 52 0.09 43.7 Forsythia Time (hours) Average Weight (grams) Water Loss (%) 0 0.58 0 3 0.55 6.2 24 0.44 24.1 27 0.42 27.6 52 0.36 37.9 Total Loss Plant Name Total Weight Loss Over Experiment Grams Percentage Laurel 0.38 20.2% Silver Birch 0.08 57.1% Sycamore 0.57 63.3% Hawthorn 0.07 43.7% ...read more.

Conclusion

This accounts for the anomalous results we recorded. The only way to reduce this being a problem is to hang the leaves in controlled atmospheric conditions, and there are not facilities to do this at school. Another problem was that, as the leaves became drier they became crisp and the paper clips we used to attach them to the line broke the leaves when we removed or attached them to the line. The best way to solve this problem would be to use something that would make it easier to attach the leaves to the line, like pegs. The final problem we came across was that the weighing times were not evenly spaced so the graph drawn was not as accurate as it would have been nice to have been. Unfortunately, it is not possible for us to resolve this problem, as we could not have weighed the leaves in the middle of the night, for example, or during other lessons. All in all I feel the experiment worked well, however it would have been nice to have continued the experiment over a longer time period so that we could see how long the Laurel and Forsythia take for all the moisture to leave the leafs as they did not fully dry out in the 52 hours we could use. To further the experiment, we could investigate the amount of water lost from both surfaces of the leaves individually, instead of just using the total loss from the leaves in their entirety. 1 ...read more.

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