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Acid Rain And Its Effect On Plants

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Question:

Acid Rain Experiment

During Unit 3, you will explore how chemistry affects your daily life. It is interesting to see that every process that occurs in a living organism is based on chemical interactions within the organisms’ cells. Even the formation of DNA depends on proper bonds!

One of the ways in which chemistry has a direct effect on our lives and our environment is in acid rain. We will be discussing acid rain and its effects on biotic and abiotic organisms during our third Seminar. You will then be able to explore this in a three-part experiment over the next six weeks which will help you to see how chemical reactions affect your surroundings. The experiment is designed to demonstrate the effects of acid rain on plant growth and development.

To do this you will need:
• Four to six plant cuttings (see below)
• Two 16.9 ounces of bottled water
• Tap water from faucet
• Rain water (if available)
• White vinegar
• Four small cups (should hold about one-half cup of water)

plant cuttings, you will need to cut a stem plus leaves (at least 2 inches long with at least two leaves) of any of the plants listed below (or any other plant that you know can grow roots from cuttings).

• Geranium
• Begonia
• Coleus
• Mint
• Houseplants:
• Pothos, philodendron, Swedish ivy, wandering Jew, purple passion vine
• Rosemary
• Basil
• Oregano
• Sweet potato vine (ornamental and edible)
• Tomato suckers (mini-plants that come up on the sides and should be broken off, anyway)
• Penstemon "Husker Red"
• Snapdragons
• Salvia
• Sedum

Directions:

Step 1: Take each cutting and place in a separate, small cup with enough tap water (room temperature) to cover at least one inch of the bottom of the cutting.

Step 2: Allow the cuttings to grow for 1 week, recording your observations of each cutting including the presence/absence of roots, and the appearance of the leaves.

Step 3: At the end of the first week do the following:

• Prepare an acid water solution by adding ¼ teaspoon of white vinegar to one 16.9 oz bottled water.
• Number each cup 1 through 3 - (and 4 if also using rainwater. If rainwater is not available, use only cups 1-3). Replace the water in each cup with one of the following waters placing the water source in the appropriately numbered cup:

1. Tap water

2. Bottled water

3. White Vinegar/Acid water

4. Rain water (if available).

Water should cover at least one inch or more of the cuttings to ensure that the roots do not dry out. If the water levels get low, add more of the appropriate water source. It is very important to keep the ends of the cuttings and roots immersed in water all the time.

Unit 3 Final Project: Acid Rain Part I: Make several observations about the cuttings at the start of the experiment. Your observations should include the height, color and number of leaves of the cuttings. You should also observe how many roots are present and the length of the roots.

Based on what you have learned about acid rain, develop a specific hypothesis regarding your expectations as to the effect of each of the different water sources on the growth and development of the cuttings at the end of two weeks. Which water source serves as your control and why? If you have a digital camera, please take a picture of the cuttings now and save it for comparison later.

You'll turn in the first part of this Assignment at the end of Unit 3. Your APA-formatted Assignment should include how you set-up your experiment, your hypotheses, answers to the questions listed above, and the first week of observations.

Alternative Assignment: Acid Rain: As an alternative to the acid rain experiment described above, you may submit the following Assignment:

Develop a hypothesis on whether or not acid rain is in your area. Support your hypothesis with observations. In other words, what do you see or what have you observed that supports your hypothesis?
 
 

Answer:

Introduction

Acid rain is a term used to describe all kind of precipitation such as rain, snow, sleet, hail, fog that are acidic in nature. The common term used is Acid deposition. Acid rain causes due to mainly due to mainly burning of fossils fuels by coal burning in power plants, automobiles and factories. When the fossils fuels are burned then the sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide are released in the atmosphere (Agrios, 2005). These gases mix with water, oxygen and other substances and forms sulphuric acid and nitric acid solutions. Acid rain is spread across the atmosphere by winds. When this acid rain enters the earth then it flows across the runoff water surface, water system and sinks into the soil (Somerville, 2008). Acid rain has different bad effects. It kills the aquatic life, damage crops and other vegetarian, damages monuments and building and causes the toxic metals to leach into the underground drinking water sources etc. It affects the biotic and abiotic organisms. The research was conducted to see the effect of acid rain on the plants (Beers, 2007). The research was conducted to see how acid rain can affect the growth of the plant. It also shows the growth of the plant roots can be affected by the acid rain. The research shows the effect of the acid rain effect on the colour and growth of the leaves of the plants.

Research Questions

What are the different water sources on the growth and development of the cuttings at the end of two weeks? Which water source serves as your control and why?

What effect does the different water sources appear to be having on the plant cuttings?

What will be the result?

Are the results supporting the original hypotheses? If so, then how? If not, then to create a new revised hypothesis.

Hypothesis

Experiment shows the effect of the different water solution on the different plant cuttings. Experiment shows how the different water solution affects the roots length of the plant, number of leaves cutting and the colour of the leaves, appearance of the leaves and other effects over the plant.

Requirements

Item Description

Quantity

Plant cuttings

4 to 6

Bottled water

16.9

Small cups

4


Other materials required: Tap water, rain water, white vinegar, sedum plant.

Procedure

Sedum plant was selected. Then it was cutted 2 inch long from the stem, in such way that it has at least 2 leaves.

Each stem cutting of the sedum plant was placed separately in a small cup with enough tap water to cover one inch of the bottom of the cutting.

Then the stem cutting was grown for 1 week. Observation was recorded of the stem cutting

After the end of the first week, an acid water solution was prepared by addition of ¼ teaspoon white vinegar to one 16.9 oz bottled water.

4 cups were numbered. Water was replaced from each cup with the tap water, bottled water, acid water.

Water was poured in such a way, that it should cover at least one or more inch of the cuttings. So the roots does not dry (Brimblecombe, 2007).

Water should be maintained every the time so the root does not dry

Results

Observations were recorded on the below table

Initial Observations: End of Week 1

Water Source

Roots Visible?

Length of Roots?

Number of Leaves on Cutting?

Color of Leaves?

Appearance of Leaves (Healthy, Dry, Wrinkled, Discolored, etc.)?

Other Observations?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tap Water

6

5

3

Yellow

Healthy

 

Bottled Water

5

4

3

Yellow

Healthy

 

Acid Water (White Vinegar Solution)

6

5

4

Yellow

Healthy

 

 

 

Rain Water

4

4

3

yellow

Healthy

 

 


Table 1: it represents the initial observation after 1st week

 

Week Two Observations

Water Source

Roots Visible?

Length of Roots?

Number of Leaves on Cutting?

Color of Leaves?

Appearance of Leaves (Healthy, Dry, Wrinkled, Discolored, etc.)?

Other Observations?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tap Water

5

5

3

Yellow

Healthy

 

 

Bottled Water

5

4

3

Yellow

Dry

 

Acid Water (White Vinegar Solution)

5

4

3

Yellow

Dry

 

 

Rain Water

4

4

3

yellow

Healthy

 

 

 

Week Three Observations:

Water Source

Roots Visible?

Length of Roots?

Number of Leaves on Cutting?

Color of Leaves?

Appearance

of

Leaves (Healthy, Dry, Wrinkled, Discolored, etc.)?

Other Observations?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tap Water

5

5

3

Yellow

Healthy

 

 

Bottled Water

5

4

3

Yellow

Dry

 

Acid Water (White Vinegar Solution)

4

3

3

Yellow

Dry

 

 

Rain Water

4

4

3

yellow

dry

 

 

Week Four Observations:

Water Source

Roots Visible?

Length of Roots?

Number of Leaves on Cutting?

Color of Leaves?

Appearance of Leaves (Healthy, Dry, Wrinkled, Discolored, etc.)?

Other Observations?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tap Water

4

5

3

Yellow

Healthy

 

 

Bottled Water

4

4

3

Yellow

Dry

 

Acid Water (White Vinegar Solution)

3

3

2

Yellow

Wrinkled

 

Rain Water

4

4

3

yellow

dry

 

 

Final Observations (Week Six):

Water Source

Roots Visible?

Length of Roots?

Number of Leaves on Cutting?

Color of Leaves?

Appearance of Leaves (Healthy, Dry, Wrinkled, Discolored, etc.)?

Other Observations?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tap Water

4

5

3

Yellow

Healthy

 

 

Bottled Water

4

4

3

Yellow

wrinkled

 

Acid Water (White Vinegar Solution)

0

2

1

Yellow

discolour

 

Rain Water

4

4

3

yellow

wrinkled

 


 

Week Five Observations:

Water Source

Roots Visible?

Length of Roots?

Number of Leaves on Cutting?

Color of Leaves?

Appearance of Leaves (Healthy, Dry, Wrinkled, Discolored, etc.)?

Other Observations?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tap Water

4

5

3

Yellow

Healthy

 

 

Bottled Water

4

4

3

Yellow

Dry

 

Acid Water (White Vinegar Solution)

2

2

2

Yellow

Wrinkled

 

Rain Water

4

4

3

yellow

wrinkled

 


Picture of the Observation

Discussion and Conclusion

Acid rain is a broad term that refers the wet and dry deposited material from the atmosphere, which contains nitric acid and sulphuric acids (Gusta, Wisniewski and Tanino, 2009). Acid rain results from the natural sources such as volcanoes and the vegetation decaying and the man made sources, which occurs from fossil fuel combination. When this acidic water falls on the ground, it affects a variety of plants and animals. Effect of acid rain depends on various factors such as water acidity, soil chemistry and its buffering property and type of fish, trees and the living things. The process by which acid rain damage the plant is very delicate. The acidic water alters the pH of the soil where the plant are growing, dissolving minerals and carrying them. Due to the drop of soil pH plant will suffer (Mardini, 2010).

Above experiment shows effect of the different water solution on the different plant cuttings. .Experiment shows how the different water solution affects the roots length of the plant, number of leaves cutting and the colour of the leaves, appearance of the leaves and other effects over the plant (Parks, 2006). Sedum plant is selected for the experiment. Different water solution chosen is the tap water, bottled water, acid water and the rainwater. Here the tap water is considered as the control. It is considered as the control as pure form of water compare to the other form of water solutions. Experiment shows that the height of the stem cutting decreased of the acid water solution compare to the other solution. The colour of the leaves of the stem cutting of the acid water solution was decoloured compare to the other water solutions (Simblet, 2010). The results show that how acid water affects the plants growth, compare to the tap water, bottle water and the rainwater. The research concludes the bad effect of acid rain on the plants.

 

References

Agrios, G. (2005). Plant pathology. Amsterdam: Elsevier Academic Press.

Beers, G. (2007). Holt elements of literature. Austin, Tex.: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

Brimblecombe, P. (2007). Acid rain. Dordrecht: Springer.

Gusta, L., Wisniewski, M. and Tanino, K. (2009). Plant Cold Hardiness. CABI.

Mardini, R. (2010). Volatile landscape. Washington, DC: The Jamestown Foundation.

Parks, P. (2006). Acid rain. Detroit [Mich.]: KidHaven Press.

Simblet, S. (2010). Botany for the Artist. London: DK Pub.

Somerville, R. (2008). The forgiving air. Boston, Mass: American Meteorological Society.

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