Biology-CompetitionPaper

Biology-CompetitionPaper - The Effects of Intraspecific...

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The Effects of Intraspecific Competition between Sunflowers and Bush Beans Kate Parrott ABSTRACT: The purpose of our experimental study was to observe and record the effects of intraspecific competition of two plants: sunflowers ( Helianthus annuus ) and bush beans ( Phaseolus vulgaris ). After studying the results of the growth and survival of these plants, we came to conclude that seven out of our eight dependent variables were significantly affected by density. The height of the plants in the low density pots (2 plants per pot) were notably taller than the medium density pots (5 plants per pot), and the high density pots (10 plants per pot). This supports my hypothesis that the density of plants has a great effect on the productivity on each of the H. annuus species and ( Phaseolus vulgaris ). INTRODUCTION: Intraspecific competition is the struggle between organisms of the same species for limited resources. Ecologists have taken a special interest in studying intraspecific competition for decades, with the purpose of explaining how it affects organisms and the environments in which they live. When plants or animals live closely with each other, it becomes more complicated to find the space and nutrients to survive, therefore making it harder to grow to the fullest potential. Plants are more likely to compete with one another when the amount of nutrients becomes depleted and space for growth becomes limited. Competition between organisms of the same species is typically detrimental to every player; it takes energy and resources to be able to compete for survival. In this lab, we conducted a greenhouse experiment in which two plant species, sunflowers ( Helianthus annus ), and bush beans ( Phaseolus vulgaris ), were used. In order to study the effects of competition among the plants, we chose to plant them in pots with different densities. Three different treatment levels were used (the high, medium and low densities), and after a long period of time we observed and recorded our observations on the overall plant growth. We concluded that the plant growth depended greatly on the treatment levels of which they were subject to. METHODS: In order to evaluate the effects of competition on plants, we decided to focus on our two plant species, H. annus and P. vulgaris . Two lab classes worked on the H. annus species and the other two lab classes worked on the P. vulgaris species. We took 4x4 inch pots and planted each species at three different densities. The highest density had 15 seeds per pot, the
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