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Plant Physiology - Extended Experimental Investigation

             The growth rates of plants vary based on several factors, one being environmental which includes but is not limited to the plant's surroundings (i.e. temperature, atmospheric conditions), biotic and abiotic factors of the plant, soil in which it is grown, and radiation energy through means of photosynthesis. (Virulian's Encyclopaedia 1st edition, 1993, pp 48) For this task it is required that extensive investigation and research is done to find the effect of sodium chloride on plants.
             Theoretical Overview.
             While houseplants are commonly grown for decorative purposes, they are so much more. Even though plants seem basic, they serve an important role in our ecosystem; they are "the backbone of all life on Earth and an essential resource for the human well-being" (BCGI, 2007) and also vital for animals.
             All living organisms on Earth are made of cells and plants are no different. All life on Earth is distinguished into two main groups, prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. Eukaryotic cells or more specifically, plants, grow by consuming the nutrients in its surroundings, one major being the utilisation of light through the process of photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is a process that all plants carry out. In this process sunlight is essential for synthesising nutrients from water and carbon dioxide. The first product required for photosynthesis is water (H20). Another material required for photosynthesis is carbon dioxide (CO2). The process of photosynthesis affects the plant's growth rate as it is its primary source of nutrition. The more water, carbon dioxide and sunlight that is available to the plant the more efficient the process of photosynthesis and therefore more nutrients produced. Hence, with more nutrition, the plant's growth rate will increase. In further detail, photosynthesis is the combination of CO2, H2O, the oxidisation of carbohydrates and most importantly, the sun, to produce a sugar which the plant takes in as energy; this sugar is known as glucose (C6H12O6).

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