The Effect of Nutrients on the Propagation and Growth of Potamogeton Perfoliatus (Redhead Grass) (page 3)
Adventitious comes form the Latin word, adventicius meaning ‘not belonging to’. Adventitious roots are used to propagate many plants including raspberries, cabbage, apples, and brussel sprouts. They can form in three places on the plant, the leaves, the petiole - where the leaf connects to the stem-, and the stem. Adventitious roots begin to grow soon after the seed germinates and are controlled by the hormone auxin. When a horticulturist wants to propagate a desirable species, one can coat the plant in a synthetic auxin solution for the plants natural supply of auxin will produce the same effect and adventitious roots will form.
How a plant takes in Nutrients
Plants roots absorb water and dissolved minerals from the sediment. Roots are secreted in mucigel, which both attracts bacteria which attract nutrients and allow the roots to move through the sediment easier. Root hairs both absorb water and nutrients and increase the roots surface area.
Added nutrients are beneficial if the sediment has few sedimentary nutrients and are harmful if too much is added to the soil or plant.
The fertilizer used in this experiment is a commercial fertilizer available in garden stores called Miracle-Grow Sticks. It is in a cylindrical shape and is inserted into the sediment. It contains some mineral nutrients but does not provide all 14 necessary nutrients.
Nitrogen begins as a gas in the air. In this state it is unusable to plants and animals. Bacteria on some plants, known as legumes, can convert free nitrogen to a state usable by the plant. Herbivores eat the plant and either returns the nitrogen to the sediment through waste or death and decay. The nitrogen in the sediment is converted by bacteria, to the free nitrogen in the air and the process begins again.
- Written resources and DNR sources state that Potamogeton perfoliatus with added nutrients will grow faster because Miracle Grow contains eight of the fourteen essential nutrients including nitrogen, but for statistical purposes I propose the Null hypothesis meaning that I will not say that there is a difference until I can prove it. I will accept the Null hypothesis unless I can achieve a 95% confidence level through a T-test.
- I predict that the addition of Miracle Grow sticks will only affect the nitrate level because Miracle Grow contains ‘water soluble nitrogen’ which should dissolve in water if not used by a plant. Miracle Grow does not contain lime or sodium, which raise the pH and salinity levels.
- I predict that the plants will grow very little at first, because when plants are propagated they have no roots, so all of the nutrients will be focused on recreating roots. Then the plants will grow rapidly, and then they will slow down and continue at a steady pace.
- 3 Red 1x2 Trays
- 3 Green 1x2 Trays
- 2 1x2 Trays any color
- 2 Black 2x3 Tubs
- 2 Bags Topsoil
- 2 Bags Sand
- 1 Large Container
- 1 Shovel
- 24 Miracle Grow Sticks
- 1 Ruler
- Sharpened pencil
- 1 pkg. Aquarium Salt
- Potamogeton perfoliatus
- Enough tap water to fill both black tubs
- 4 lamps that can be placed above the experiment
- 2 Power heads
- 2 foam rubber filters
- 1 2'x4' tub
- Ruler- 30 cm
- Meter Stick
- Data sheet
- Water to fill tanks as necessary
- pH test kit
- Hardness test kit
- Nitrate test kit
- 1 gal. Distilled Water
- 1000 ml graduated cylinder
10 in. stick
Problem 1: The Effect of Nutrients
- Screw lamps into supports near the project.
- Open the topsoil and sand bags.
- Mix both soils in large tote until evenly distributed.
- Fill all six red and green trays with soil to an inch of the top.
- Place black tubs under the lights and fill to an inch of the top.
- Add even amount of aquarium salt to each tank.
- Set-up power heads and filters.
- Saturate red and green trays in water.
- Pour off excess water.
- With the ruler create the grid below on each tray.
- Cut the Potamogeton perfoliatus into 72 pieces; each piece is 15 cm.
- With the pencil make a 5 cm hole where the grid intersects.
- Place a piece of Potamogeton perfoliatus in each of these holes.
- Pinch the soil around each stem.
- Resubmerge trays alternating red and green, place three in each tub.
- DO NOT attempt to re-plant any plants that float up during testing.
- Label each plant
- Start with 1A1 end with 2C12: 1=large tank A=small tray 1=plant
- Measure the length of each plant in centimeters.
- If there are multiple shoots measure all of them and make a notation.
- After the first measurement add six miracle Grow Sticks to each of the green trays; it is easier if the sticks are broken in half first.
- Weekly test the pH level, Nitrate level, Hardness level and specific gravity.
- Add more water as necessary.
- Rinse foam filters when needed.
- Use the 10" stick to adjust the light level.
- If plants float up plant them in stock.
- Leave and continue to let grow.
- Contact an organization (e.g. DNR) to replant in the Chesapeake Bay or its tributaries.
Problem 2: Effect on Water Quality
- Fill the two 1*2 trays with the sand/ topsoil mixture.
- Place six Miracle Grow sticks in one of the trays- it is easier if the sticks are broken in half first.
- Mark this tray.
- Fill each tray with tap water.
- DO NOT combine the waters.
- Measure the nitrogen levels of both trays after two weeks.