Grade Level: Middle School; Type: Earth Science / Botany
Culverts transport seeds away from their original location to different places. This science project involves examining the effect of culverts on plant growth in streams.
What is a culvert?
What factors affect seed distribution in streams and rivers?
- Good book on plant identification (your local nature center should be helpful)
- Graph paper, pen, ruler
- Soil test kits (available on line or from your local hardware store or garden supply store). Simple kits measure nitrogen, pH, and phosphorus. Other kits are more elaborate.
- Identify several culverts that flow into local creeks. Try to find the origin of the culvert.
- Identify the upstream and downstream sides of the culvert.
- Take photos of the plant life found on the upstream side of the culvert. Don’t forget to consider plants that grow in the water as well. Identify the species.
- Take photos of the plant life found on the downstream side of the culture. Identify any specifies that were found on the downstream side that were not found upstream.
- Make a map of the area, identifying the location of the plants.
- Using soil test kits measure the nutrients in the soil both upstream and downstream.
- Repeat steps 2-6 for the culverts you identified in step 1.
Terms/Concepts: culvert, seed distribution, foreign plant