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Scientific Paper #1-Plant Competition

Scientific Paper #1-Plant Competition - Abstract This study...

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Abstract: This study was performed to determine if there was a significant change in competitions between two treatments of high and low density in Brassica Rapa plants. The Brassica Rapa species is a type of mustard plant known for its quick life cycle and is ideal for this testing due to its simple needs. The group wanted to know if data could support a significant difference in biomass, mean plant height, and seed biomass in the high and low density treatments; the alternative hypothesis. The organisms were planted according to their densities (low=2 seeds, high=10 seeds), fed, and watered. Fertilizer was also added to the soil for the seeds to have nutrients to grow. Over a period of six weeks the growing B. rapa’s traits were recorded. In all three of the variables, biomass, mean plant height, and see biomass, the low density treatment appeared to have an overall better health. The alternative hypothesis was supported in all three variables. In the end, the theory that intraspecific competition does alter the characteristics of the population is supported. Introduction: Our experiment has to do with finding out whether or not intraspecific competition affects multiple characteristics of quickly growing plants grown in a controlled environment. For our purposes, competition is understood as the negative effect on fitness that two individuals (either of the same species or different species) that use the same limiting resource have on one another (Aspbury, et al., 2010). In our studies, the team has focused specifically on intraspecific competition which is simply when the competing organisms belong to the same species. It is essential for one to understand how any type of competition can effect a plant’s life cycle, for some plants are sensitive to the organisms they share their habitat with. Plant competition can directly affect the number of births and deaths of a population (Aspbury, et al., 2010).
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Developmental changes can occur also, some of them include changes in overall size and number, size, and timing of the emergence of several plant organs (Aspbury, et al., 2010). The chosen plant for this experimentation is Brassica Rapa ( B. rapa ), commonly known as fast plants due to their quick six week life cycle. The plants life cycle along with being small and simple to cultivate make the organism an ideal species to study for intraspecific competition (Aspbury, et al., 2010). It has also been found that the fast plants are characterized by having a lack of seed dormancy, ease of breeding and considerable genetic variability (Gurevitch, et al., 1996). Collaboratively the group is measuring how developed the species is at the end of its life cycle by calculating how much biomass each B. rapa has. Biomass is defined as the dry weight of once living matter (Aspbury, et al.,2010). In testing this plant we will come to one of two conclusions, either the null or alternative hypothesis. In this experiment the teams null hypothesis is that there is no difference in B. rapa
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