Observation: Phosphates have been banned in cleaning products in several states because of their known adverse effects on the environment; their biodegradable replacements however, although safer in preventing eutrophication still have an adverse impact on the growth of vegetation within the ecosystem.
Question: What effect do biodegradable phosphate-free detergents have on seed germination?
Proposed hypothesis: Seedlings treated with phosphate-free biodegradable detergent water will show a lower rate of germination and frond growth when compared to a control. The increase of the concentration of phosphate-free detergent water will have a corresponding negative effect.
Literature Review of three professional sources (research articles):
Rationale: Exposing the seeds to increasing concentrations of phosphate-free biodegradable detergent water should reduce seed germination.
1. To determine the impact of different concentrations of biodegradable phosphate-free detergent on seed germination and seedling growth.
2. Graph the data collected in the experiment
3. Provide an analysis of the data
4. Publish results
2. Form hypothesis
3. Identify variables
4. Establish constants
5. Perform Experiment
6. Record Measurements
7. Interpret data
Time Allocation: Five Days
Day 1: 30-45 minutes Days 2-4: 20 minutes Day 5: 30-45 minutes
Cherry Belle radish seeds (90) 3 Petri Dishes scissors wax marking pencils toothpicks paper towels computer distilled water 50-mL graduated cylinder masking tape ...
... middle of paper ...
...esponded to biodegradable, phosphate-free detergents. In a true test, validity needs to be established. Observing the effects on a larger population of organisms would have substantiated the claim.
Recommended areas for further research
Areas for further research would be to conduct the experiment with different biodegradable phosphate free detergents to determine if there was a brand that did not inhibit seed germination and plant growth. Another idea to pursue would be to determine what concentration of detergent kills seeds, and which concentration mimics the control. It would also be worth pursuing to find out if a combination of phosphate and biodegradable detergents work better together as a cleaner, and whether they have less of a negative impact on aquatic ecosystems.
Biology: The Dynamics of Life, McGraw (2004)
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