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Investigate what causes plants to lose water.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

INVESTIGATION To investigate what causes plants to lose water. THE PROBLEM What do you want to find out? I will try to find out what conditions cause plants to lose water. I will then try to prove my idea by conducting a number of experiments. BACKGROUND KNOWLEDGE What scientific knowledge do you have which might be useful in planning your investigation? I know that Transpiration is the loss of water from the leaf surface, which helps to draw water up through the plant. The Surfaces on a cell are moist; this is because water evaporates from them into the spaces between the cells. When transpiration takes place water vapour diffuses out of pores, these pores are called stomata. This happens between the cells at the leaf's surface. Leaf cells have to replace this lost water; they do this by replacing it with a solution inside xylem vessels, tiny tubes running through the plant from the root to the shoot. There are a lot of different factors and conditions that affect the rate of transpiration. If the temperature increases, the water molecules evaporate from cell surfaces more quickly. If it is a windy day the moving air takes water vapour away from the leaf surface, increasing the diffusion gradient. When dry is around the leaf water from the cells evaporate faster. ...read more.

Middle

What observations and measurements are you going to make and over what range? How will you make sure these are as accurate as possible? I will record the weight of the paper with 20ml of water on it. Then I will leave the hair dryer on it for 2.30mins, and then I will weigh it after that. I will do this with a full size leaf (484cm2), three quarter size (363cm2), half size (242cm2) and a quarter size (121cm2). I will choose a volume that does not totally saturate the leaf and doesn't make the leaf drip water. I will do this more than once to get an average time. RESULTS What will you do with the results? I will collect the results in a table and put them into a graph. I will also use the to try and find patterns with. PRACTICAL PROCEDURE What is going to be your method to test the predictions? Draw a diagram and list the materials and apparatus needed. Include any safety precautions you take. I will simulate the conditions of the weather. I will use models as the wind and rain. The materials I need to do this experiment are: * Water (rain) * Paper towel (leaf) I will also need the following apparatus: * Hairdryer (wind or sunlight) * String * Clamp Stands * Stopwatch * Measuring Cylinder CARRYING OUT THE INVESTIGATION Use your equipment to make observations and measurements as accurately as possible. ...read more.

Conclusion

The paper towels were dripping and that lead to water loss as well. If I did the experiment again I might try and do the experiment differently. I could leave the leaf in the sunlight over a period of time waiting for transpiration to take place. I might also try to use a lamp to shine on the leaf. If you did it again, what improvements would you make? If I did the experiment again I would make sure that the hair dryer was placed exactly on the leaf (paper towel), when I did it the paper towels were not always in the same place. Do you think your results were accurate enough? Could they be improved? Yes my results for my experiment were very accurate because I got the same results for each time I did it. First time I did the experiment I had a glitch. Were there any results that did not fit with the main pattern? If so, can you explain why? Yes the first time I did the experiment my results did not look very accurate. This was because instead of cutting the paper towel I just folded it in quarter and half. Do you think your results are good enough to convince other people? Yes I do think my results would be likely convince other people because they correspond with the hypothesis stated and are therefore in line with the expected outcome. Declan Murtagh 12/10 Science Coursework ...read more.

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