Fern Spore Germination and the Effects of Ammonium Nitrate

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Fern Spore Germination and the Effects of Ammonium Nitrate Name Lab Partner: U-# BSC: 2011L Section: 908 April 10, 2014 Abstract: The effect of 1% ammonium nitrate on Ceratopteris richardii spore germination was tested in this experiment. Past experiments have been done on Botrychium dissectum and they found that when the spores were grown in the presence of ammonium, they had the best growth rates. Also when they had ammonium nitrate present, even more spores germinated compared to when they only used nitrate by itself. They did several tests using nitrate, ammonium, and then a combination of ammonium nitrate. Basing our hypothesis off of this past experiment, I hypothesized that in the presence of ammonium nitrate we should see an increased germination rate of our spores from the Ceratopteris richardii. We grew 2 different cultures of the fern spores, one on a control petri dish and one in 1% NH4NO3, with 6 replicates. They were grown for 4 weeks and were put under sufficient lighting. All the data was compiled from all the replicates and after all the calculations we found that there was a significant difference in the spore germination rate. Less germinated in the presence of 1% ammonium nitrate compared to the spores not in the presence of ammonium nitrate. In other studies done, when ammonium is used to provide the nitrogen source for photosynthetic spores, they will not grow or germinate properly, and may show abnormalities and inhibited growth (Melan & Whittier, 1990). That is exactly what our experimental data showed us. After preforming the tests and compiling all the replicate data, we found that in the control group there was an average of 50.5 germinated spores per plate. In the plates containing 1% ammonium nitrate there was an average germination rate of 28.5 spores per plate. This brought us to the conclusion to reject our

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