Title

The Effect Of Pollutants On The Health And Growth Of Distichlis Spicata

Author(s)

Pippa Richter

School Name

Heathwood Hall Episcopal School

Grade Level

9th Grade

Presentation Topic

Botany

Presentation Type

Non-Mentored

Oral Presentation Award

3rd Place

Abstract

The purpose of this experiment was to determine which pollutant, out of four common water pollutants (10 g motor oil (11.11 mL), 10 g sediment, 10 g fertilizer, and 1 mL coliphage bacteria), had the greatest negative effect on saltgrass, or Distichlis spicata. The hypothesis is that motor oil and fertilizer would have the greatest negative effects on the coloration and height of saltgrass. Each pollutant was added to the soil of a group made up of three groups consisting of four plants each. Another group was left uncontaminated as the control. The height (cm) of the plants was then measured and each plant was rated on a health scale (0-5) over a one month period. The effect of these pollutants on the growth of saltgrass was inconclusive. All plants remained at a relatively constant height throughout the one month period. Only the coliphage plant group changed significantly, but instead of having a negative effect, the plant grew two centimeters. However, the pollutants seemed to have a negative effect on the health of the saltgrass. It was determined that if a plant was rated less than a ⅗ on the health scale, a pollutant had a negative effect upon it. All groups except the fertilizer group remained above the 3/5 cutoff. The fertilizer group’s health degraded early in the experiment, and after a month, its rating was 2.3/5. The results were determined inconclusive because of errors in the procedure of the experiment. However, the results obtained ended up not supporting the hypothesis.

Location

Kinard 115

Start Date

4-16-2016 11:15 AM

COinS
 
Apr 16th, 11:15 AM

The Effect Of Pollutants On The Health And Growth Of Distichlis Spicata

Kinard 115

The purpose of this experiment was to determine which pollutant, out of four common water pollutants (10 g motor oil (11.11 mL), 10 g sediment, 10 g fertilizer, and 1 mL coliphage bacteria), had the greatest negative effect on saltgrass, or Distichlis spicata. The hypothesis is that motor oil and fertilizer would have the greatest negative effects on the coloration and height of saltgrass. Each pollutant was added to the soil of a group made up of three groups consisting of four plants each. Another group was left uncontaminated as the control. The height (cm) of the plants was then measured and each plant was rated on a health scale (0-5) over a one month period. The effect of these pollutants on the growth of saltgrass was inconclusive. All plants remained at a relatively constant height throughout the one month period. Only the coliphage plant group changed significantly, but instead of having a negative effect, the plant grew two centimeters. However, the pollutants seemed to have a negative effect on the health of the saltgrass. It was determined that if a plant was rated less than a ⅗ on the health scale, a pollutant had a negative effect upon it. All groups except the fertilizer group remained above the 3/5 cutoff. The fertilizer group’s health degraded early in the experiment, and after a month, its rating was 2.3/5. The results were determined inconclusive because of errors in the procedure of the experiment. However, the results obtained ended up not supporting the hypothesis.