The rate of transpiration under the effects of certain atmospheric conditions Statement of the problem: Plants do not just

die, if there is a change in its environment. This change could be to do with soil acidity, the level of rainfall or the climatic/atmospheric conditions. To combat a change in the atmospheric or climate, plants undergo transpiration. Transpiration is the loss if water by evaporation from the aerial parts of a plant. This is an entirely physical process and is influenced by factors such as temperature, wind, humidity and light intensity. Plants can regulate the degree of transpiration by opening or closing pores (stoma) on their leaves. In this experiment aim to investigate how wind, temperature and alight intensity affect the rate of a plant s transpiration. Hypothesis: I predict that if the wind speed temperature or light intensity increases the rate of transpiration will increase. Apparatus: y y y y y y y y y Capillary tube Graduated scale Beaker of water Gagnon s Potometer Leafy shoot (cut so half the stem remains) Reservoir of water Scalpel Fan High powered infrared lamp

Procedure: 1. The leafy shoot must be cut, using the scalpel, the apparatus and the shoot must then be fixed to the Potometer, all underwater to prevent air locks in the system. 2. Allow five minutes for the plant to equilibrate before introducing a bubble into the Potometer. 3. Subject the plant to wind by switching on the fan which will blow wind onto the plant. 4. Measure the rate of bubble movement or simply check whether the bubble has moved or not at least three times. Then reset the bubble using the reservoir of water. 5. Remove all water and repeat steps one and two. 6. Subject to light intensity and temperature, by switching on the high powered infrared lamp and pointing it at the leaves. The high infrared light provides us with a source of temperature and light at the same time. 7. Repeat step 4 8. A controlled experiment where none of these effects must be conducted. Repeat steps one, two and four.

Results: In this experiment we had an insufficient time to record any data, however watching the bubbles movement was satisfactory. In comparison to the controlled experiment, the bubbles which were used in the experiments exposed to the variable factors, moved at a considerably faster rate. Conclusion: After conducting this experiment I can accept my hypothesis. Transpiration occurs at a faster rate if it is subjected to wind, high light intensity or high temperature. The rate was much slower in the control test because in the absence of wind, a band of water vapour was able to form in the internal air spaces of the leaf and around the leaf as the water vapour transpired out. This reduced the water potential gradient between the spongy and palisade Mesophyll cells inside the leaf and the air so the rate of transpiration was reduced. When air was blown across the leaves by the hairdryer, this band of water vapour was blown away and further water vapour was not be able to accumulate. This led to an increase in the water potential gradient between the spongy and palisades Mesophyll cells inside the leaf and the air and so the rate of transpiration into the air increased. The rate of transpiration in the high light intensity and high temperature experiment increased in comparison to the controlled experiment. This is because if a plant feels too hot in its environment it use transpiration to evaporate some of its water. In effect it s the plants version of sweating, due to this loss of water, more water is needed to replace the lost water, for either transpiration or photosynthesis. Thus enables mass flow of minerals and water from the roots to the shoots. There were a few flaws in this experiment. For example; the experiment measures the total water uptake which includes water used by the plant as well as the water lost through transpiration. Though most of the water (90 - 99%) is lost through transpiration, a small amount is used by the plant for photosynthesis and so this experiment is not able to tell us the exact rate of transpiration. Furthermore it is often difficult to change just one environmental condition without changing another. For example the lamps used to give the leaves the maximum possible light intensity in the experiment will also have the effect of slightly heating up the leaves. This could cause the rate of transpiration to go up as well. Consequently both light intensity and temperature was conducted at the same time, which were both convenient and unfortunately an unavoidable error .

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