BRONZE

Plant Health and the Effects of Chemicals

Roses were used in this project to test the effects of toxic and non-toxic chemicals.
Xavier Turpin
Grade 5

Hypothesis

Is there a difference between toxic and non-toxic chemicals with respect to plant health?  

 

Research

Soil is getting contaminated by poisonous products sold at stores and by automobile pollution (Soil Science Society of America, 2021). Humans are usuallly to blame, and these chemical can effect plant health and then human and animal health when affected plants are eaten (Soil Science Society of America, 2021). Farooq et al. (2015) found that salinity and boron toxcitiy "severly affected the physiological attributes of rice" (p. 718). It is clear that chemicals found in soil are a large issue for humankind. This experiement will provide evidence of the toxic effects of certain chemicals and the possbility that some chemicals are good for plants.

Variables

Controlled variables: water and sunlight 

Manipulated variable: added chemicals 

Responding variable: plant health 

 

Procedure

Materials:

  1. glass containers 
  2. funnels
  3. measuring spoon 
  4. water-2 cups in each jar
  5. roses 
  6. 1 tbsp each of avocado oil, gas, vinegar, plant food, lactose (milk), fructose (ginger ale), and sucrose (table sugar).
  7. labels 
  8. black marker 
  9. logbook
  10. pencil
  11. camera 

Procedure

  1. Label jars with chemical names.
  2. Use a funnel to add water: two cups to each jar. 
  3. Use a funnel to add one tbsp of each chemical to the appropriate and mix well.  
  4. Add roses to each jar. 
  5. Every 24 hours after the start of the experiment, record observations about plant health including petals and leaves.  

Observations

February 6, 2021

  • all plants healthy

February 7, 2021

  • control - good health
  • plant food - good health
  • avocado oil - good health
  • gas - petals and leaves starting to wilt, petals lost color
  • vinegar - petals and leaves starting to wilt
  • fructose - petals and leaves starting to wilt
  • sucrose - petals and leaves starting to wilt
  • lactose - petals and leaves starting to wilt

February 8, 2021

  • control - good health
  • plant food - good health
  • avocado oil - good health
  • gas - more wilting
  • vinegar - more wilting
  • fructose - same
  • sucrose - same
  • lactose -  more wilting

February 9, 2021

  • control - good health
  • plant food - good health
  • avocado oil - good health
  • gas - same
  • vinegar - same
  • fructose - same 
  • sucrose - same
  • lactose - same

February 10, 2021

  • control - good health
  • plant food - good health
  • avocado oil - good health
  • gas - same but stem is black
  • vinegar - flower head wilted, plant dying
  • fructose - same
  • sucrose - same
  • lactose - flower head wilted, plant dying

February 11, 2021

  • control - good health
  • plant food - good health
  • avocado oil - good health
  • gas - flower head wilted, plant dying
  • vinegar - same
  • fructose - more wilting
  • sucrose - more wilting
  • lactose - same

February 12, 2021

  • control - good health
  • plant food - good health
  • avocado oil - good health
  • gas - same
  • vinegar - same
  • fructose - same
  • sucrose - same
  • lactose - same

Analysis

Conclusion

The oil was the least toxic to plant health. Gas and vinegar were toxic to plant health as expected. But the lactose was the most toxic which was the most surprising result Overall. the toxic chemicals were toxic to plant health.

Application

This information is useful as it confirms gas and acids are harmful to plant health and that there are certain chemicals that can protect plants or prolong plant health.

Avocado oil seems to be good for plant health. Future experiments could test the difference between vegetable oils and their effect on plant health.

 

Sources Of Error

Milk was used as a substitute for lactose and it is likely that the decomposition process of the milk affected plant health more than the lactose did. Future experiments could use lactose only. Ginger ale was used as a substitute for fructose and it is possible that something other than fructose was responsible for the good plant health.

 

Citations

References (using APA)

Farooq, M. A., Saqib, Z. A., & Akhtar, J. (2015). Silicon-mediated oxidative stress tolerance and genetic variability in rice (Oryza sativa L.) grown under combined stress of salinity and boron toxicity. Turkish Journal of Agriculture and Forestry, 39, 718-729. https://doi.org/10.3906/tar-1410-26 

Soil Science Society of America. (2021). Soil Contamiants. Retrieved March 10, 2021, from  https://www.soils.org/about-soils/contaminants/

Acknowledgement

Thanks to my Mum for helping with this project and my Dad for encouraging me to leave my comfort zone and participate in the science fair.