IB Biology HL IA - 03248-006 1 Water Salinity and Germination of Vicia Faba Personal Engagement I was interested in the rise of ocean temperatures and

IB Biology HL IA - 03248-006 1 Water Salinity and...

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03248-006 1 Water Salinity and Germination of Vicia Faba Personal Engagement I was interested in the rise of ocean temperatures and decided to do a little research on the issue. During this time I came across an article written by the CBC on why salt-tolerant plants need to be the future. The article talked about how, because of the climate change, coastal farmlands are becoming increasingly saline, which is affecting the development of plants and crops, thus, causing a decrease in yields. However, in India there are certain plants that have adapted to these changes and have become more salt-tolerant. I started thinking about how seeds are affected by increasing salinity and why this actually prevents plant germination and growth, specifically looking at the relationship between exposing seeds to increasing salt concentration and the subsequent effect this has on seed germination and development. Research Question What is the effect of exposing fava bean seeds, Vicia faba to increasing concentration of aqueous NaCl on the rate of seed germination? Background Information Soil salinity is increasing on a global scale and an article from the CBC cities that 20 percent of the world’s irrigated farmland is contaminated due to presence of high salt concentration (Kathy Daigle, CBC). Increasing salinity in soil is a major factor that limits the production of crops globally. Soil salinity is the most common cause exposing plants to higher concentrations of salt. Plants exposed to high concentrations of salt show delayed and stunted growth as well as decreased yields (Ayers and Westcot, FAO). Saline soils are composed from a variety of dissolved salts such as MgCl 2 , KCl, Na 2 CO 3 and NaCl. The most prevalent of these salts is NaCl. Due to more extreme weather resulting from climate change, global soil salinity will worsen in regions around the world, especially coastal farmlands due to rising ocean levels and dry lands (salinity is already relatively higher) due to drought (Kathy Daigle, CBC), (Amira M.S, Journal of Experimental Botany). Increased soil salinity is a major issue that hinders crop yields in coastal farmlands. This is because coastal regions face higher intrusion of seawater due to rising sea levels, thus, the salts in the soil are increased. Moreover, farmers that use groundwater for irrigation of their plants also face increased water salinity due to seawater intrusion. Soil salinity also affects dry and semi-dry lands. These already have an increased soil salt concentration due to lower water levels and increased droughts only make the problem worse (NCBI). Understanding the tolerance of plants towards high saline concentrations of NaCl may help improve the yield of plants on saline land (Journal of Experimental Botany).
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