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The Effect of Stomata Opening on Plant Transpiration

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Introduction

The Effect of Covered Stomata on Plant Transpiration Nezar Alsaeedi IB Biology Higher Year 1 Mr. Connors May 7, 2005 Abstract: The purpose of this study is to find the effect of covered stomata on plant transpiration. The experiment was designed to examine the changes in texture of four Devil's Ivy leaves (Epipremnum aureus) affected by covered stomata and rate of transpiration. One leaf was completely coated with Vaseline gel. The second leaf was coated only on the front surface, while the third leaf was coated on the back surface with gel. The fourth leaf was left uncoated as a control variable. The four leaves were hung on a rope (50cm. long), 10cm. apart from each other. The leaves were exposed to the same amount of sunlight, temperature (32 degrees Celsius), and humidity (about 70 percent). The changes in the texture of the four leaves were observed over a one-week interval. The results showed slight loss of turgidity for the completely coated leaf, moderate flexibility and folding edges in partially covered leaves (front-surface and back-surface coated leaves), and tremendous flexibility, softness, and complete inward folding of the edges of the uncoated leaf. According to the results, it is concluded that the uncoated leaf with uncovered stomata had the higher rate of transpiration than the other completely and partially coated leaves. Introduction: Transpiration is the loss of water through stomata openings on the surfaces of plant leaves. ...read more.

Middle

6. Leave the fourth leaf without coating. 7. Hang the four leaves on the rope, 10 cm. apart from each other. 8. Keep the leaves at a constant temperature (32 degrees Celsius), humidity (about 70 percent), and sunlight. 9. Observe any changes on the texture of the leaves over a one-week period. 10. To avoid any biological hazards, dispose the leaves in a garbage bin, and place the rope, clips, and wooden poles in the proper container after completing the experiment. Note: Wear safety gloves in order to avoid any contact with sap from the leaves which may cause allergies. Wear safety goggles to avoid contact of the eyes with the Vaseline gel, which may cause eye irritation. Data analysis: According to the observations collected, the uncoated leaf showed the greatest change in texture among the other three leaves. On the first day, the completely coated, front-surface coated, back-surface coated, and uncoated leaves were firm and turgid, showing no change in their texture. During the third day of observation, the coated, front-surface covered, and back-surface covered leaves remained with no change. The uncoated leaf started to become flexible and supple in texture. On the fifth day, the completely coated leaf remained unchanged, the front-surface and back-surface coated leaves started to become flexible and pliable, and the uncoated leaf edges started to fold inward. On the final seventh day, the completely coated leaf was mildly soft and flexible, losing some of its turgidity. ...read more.

Conclusion

The experiment was performed only once; thus, making the results less reliable. Finally, the time span was not enough to measure the other changes resulting from greater water loss. This experiment may be improved in many vital ways. First, the experiment should be performed at least three more times to guarantee the reliability of the results. Second, the Vaseline gel should be smoothed out thoroughly to cover the entire surface as well as to provide an equal layer of coating. The experiment should be extended to another week to measure the additional changes that may have been caused as a result of water loss such as the shriveling and dryness of leaves. An entire plant should be tested by the methods of this experiment to note any disparities in observation, and this experiment should be conducted on different plant leaves. Finally, other experiments should be conducted such as counting the number of stomata in plants, measuring the rate of transpiration by using a potometer, and describing the effects of other factors (wind, heat, humidity, and light) on transpiration rates. These experiments will further increase the understanding of factors affecting transpiration. A botanist should be consulted for advanced knowledge of stomata effect on plant transpiration. The results of this study could be applied in many ways to agricultural improvement. Farmers should use the conclusions gained from this experiment to aid in growing plants efficiently. By understanding the factors affecting the rate of transpiration, farmers can place their plants in greenhouses to avoid exposure to these factors; thus, caring for plants proficiently. ...read more.

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