Tropism Lab

Tim Day Period 2 Biology IBSL (HL?)

Purpose: To examine the effects of tropism on plants. The purpose of this experiment was to specifically study the effects of geotropism, also known as gravitropism, on plants by hanging them upside down and then comparing the change in degree of growth of the plants with a control group. The experiment was composed of the following constants and variables: Constant: The plants used: Passion Flower Vines Dependent Variable: Direction the plant grows Independent Variable: Direction the plant is initially planted (with or against gravity) In addition to the plants used the amount of water given to each plant and the soil with which it is planted are controlled constants. Materials: 1. 2 Small Flower Pots 2. 2 Passion Flower Vines 3. 2 Cups of Soil 4. Water 5. Protractor (Or anything sufficient to measure the change in degrees of the plant stem) 6. String 7. Paper (at least two sheets) 8. Tape 9. Scissors 10. Coat Hanger Procedure: 1. Place each plant inside a pot of a cup of soil. 2. Wrap a sheet of paper around each plant, tightly. Use multiple pieces of necessary. 3. Use as much tape as necessary to secure the paper tightly around the pots. 4. Take string and wrap it tightly around one flower pot (this will further help keep the soil in when the plant is upside down) 5. Find a suitable place to hang the plant upside down (with gravity), a coat hanger from a door knob can work attached to the string. 6. Place the other plant nearby on a suitable flat surface facing up (against gravity) 7. Use 12. oz of water each day to water the plants over a two week period. 8. Every other day during this two week period measure in degrees the change of position of the stem.

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The function of the paper and string is to keep the soil and plant fighting gravity, as opposed to falling victim to gravity (IE falling to the floor) 0 Degrees is the center of the pot, all measurements are relative to this spot. Numbers in diagram are only approximate, they're all relative to 0, not to the vine (90 degrees is not above the plant) In the control plant 0 degrees also switches to the north

Data Collection and Processing:
Quantitative Data (Measured every two days for a total of 7 times): Experimental Plant (With Gravity Pot): Period (Every 2 Days) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Change In Degrees (From 0) 0 43 84 110 126 131 138

Control Plant (Against Gravity) Period (Every 2 Days) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Change In Degrees (From 0) 0 2 5 8 9 9 10

Graph of Change in Degrees (From 0) V. Period of Measure
160 140 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Experiment Control

Qualitative Data: • Each day the plants grew a little bit more • Most changes noticeable in experimental group • Really big differences were noticed on Days 4, 6 and 8 (Period 2, 3, and 4) Plants had taken a serious turn up! • No noticeable difference in the health of the plants over the two weeks Calculations: For the sake of proper comparison of the data, we must compare the change in degrees between each period. Experimental Plant (With Gravity Pot): Period (Every 2 Days) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Change In Degrees (From Previous Period) N/A 43 41 46 16 5 7

Control Plant (Against Gravity) Period (Every 2 Days) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Change In Degrees (From Previous Period) N/A 2 3 3 1 0 1

Graph of Experimental Change In Degrees (From Previous Period) V. Period of Measure
50 40 30 20 10 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Experiment Control

It is immediately apparent, not just from the data, but just by looking at the procedure itself what vital factor limits the result. The light source. This was woefully uncontrolled during the experiment. As a result we can't be entirely sure of the result. Yet this does not exclude all value of the experiment. The purpose was to examine tropism, specifically geotropism, and in the end that was still achieved. The light source is not specifically geotropism-that's phototropism. The crudeness of the entire procedure, if nothing else, actually exemplified tropism. The bottom line is that the plant still grew against gravity. Both showed how

plants tend to do that. Yet plants also grow towards a light source. And this is unavoidable but is still of note. In the experimental group (against gravity) the plants had an extreme change in degrees. This is evidence that the plants were attempting to grow against gravity, as in the control pot. In the control group there was very little change in the degrees. The little that there was could be attributed to phototropism. At its highest point the experimental group experienced a change of 46 degrees as opposed to 3 degrees in the control. There were several limitations to this lab. Again, the most notable is the fact that phototropism exists. And part of the degree change would be attributed to the plant attempting to grow towards light. It grew towards light though against gravity. Another limitation was that there was no real way to measure the growth of the roots. The roots experience gravitropism in the other direction of the stem (it grows with gravity). This data would have helped provide context for multiple parts of geotropism. But in the end, it is all inconsequential. Geotropism clearly has a huge effect on the direction the plant grows. Neither plant showed a huge difference in health, they both were about the same. They grew the same direction, undeniable evidence of geotropism.

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