The Effect of Nacl on Cress

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The effect of NaCl(aq) on cress Iris van Meijl & Anne Heijkers Philips van Horne, Weert, The Netherlands Received June 2011 Summary In the past few months the effects of NaCl on plants were investigated. It became clear that NaCl affects the germination, growth and even the colour of the plants. It was discovered that the germination stopped at a concentration of 0.40 mol/L, but the size of the plants already started to get smaller at a concentration of 0.060 mol/L. Introduction Sodium and chlorine are needed in plant nutrition. Plants need some Na+ for the transport system and for protecting the plant cells. Chlorine is necessary for osmosis and ionic balance. It also plays a role in photosynthesis. However, they belong to the micronutrients. Micronutrients are present in plant tissue in quantities measured in parts per million, ranging from 5 to 200 ppm, or less than 0.02% dry weight. This means that only a small amount of these elements are required. So when people use NaCl to accelerate the melting process of ice, a bigger amount of Na and Cl will flow into the borders. The plants will get more NaCl then is wanted. But does this have an effect on the plants or are there no differences? In this inquiry it was investigated if there are any effects and how harmful these effects are. Because the plants near the road take a bit too long to grow, there had been decided to work with cress, Lepidium sativum. The inquiry question is: What are the effects of NaCl on cress? Our hypothesis is that the plants won’t encounter disadvantages in low concentrations (up and till 0.20 mol/L), but that they will grow less fast in higher concentrations ( 0.25 mol/L and higher), because NaCl withdraws liquid from plants. Experimental procedure and approach At first a tryout experiment has been done to find out which concentrations are
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