The Extent To Which Acid Rain and Air Pollutants Affect the Height and Total Leaf Area of Peanut Plants

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Through a series of experiments to explore the effects of human activity on other living organisms, this study is aimed to answer the following question of to what extent do acid rain and air pollutants affect the height and total leaf area of peanut plants (Arachis hypogaea). The experiments documented the mean growth in height as well as leaf area of peanut plants that were exposed to varying amounts of aluminum, nitrogen, and phosphorus. The plants received twelve hours of direct sunlight, were kept at 72 degrees Fahrenheit, and were kept in soils with aluminum, nitrogen, and phosphorus. The aluminum was equal to a pH of 2.5, 3.5, and 4.5. The levels of nitrogen, which were distributed into nine different pots, three of the same amount per three pots, were 50 mL, 75 mL, and 100 mL, and the phosphorus amounts were 8lb A/6” soil (L), 20lb A/6” soil (M), and 64lb A/6” soil (H). The phosphorus levels were determined using a soil N-P-K kit and water from a local stream. Positive correlations were found between the height of the plants and the leaf area. As the plants increased in height, the leaves increased in area. Furthermore, as the amount (pH) of aluminum sulfate decreases, the height and area decreased. The increasing amounts of phosphorus promoted growth, as did nitrogen. However, too much nitrogen caused the plants to die. These results indicated that low pH levels and high nitrogen levels cause harm to peanut plants, and that phosphorus promotes growth. In conclusion, acid rain and pollutants high in nitrogen inhibit growth, while pollutants high in potassium encourage growth. (268 words) Introduction I am concerned about the current levels of pollution and its impact on living organisms. There is growing research... ... middle of paper ... ...ca. 28 Apr. 2011. . Ojima, D.S, T.G.F Kittel, T. Rosswall, and B.H. Walker. "Critical Issues for Understanding Global Change Effects on Terrestrial Ecosystems." JSTOR. Ecological Society of America, Aug. 1991. 3 Aug. 2011. . Ownby, James D., and Lyndon Dees. "Growth and Mineral Nutrient Status in Peanut and Sorghum in Response to Acid Precipitation and Aluminium." JSTOR. Blackwell Publishing. 28 Apr. 2011. . "Peanuts | UGA Cooperative Extension." University of Georgia Cooperative Extension. University of Georgia, 2011. 03 Aug. 2011. Winner, William E. "Mechanistic Analysis of Plant Responses to Air Pollution." JSTOR. Ecological Society of America. 29 Apr. 2011. .

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