Project Advisor(s)

Bohdan Dziadyk

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Disciplines

Botany

Description, Abstract, or Artist's Statement

Wisconsin Fast Plant (Brassica rapa, Brassicaceae) seeds were planted in three six-celled containers with 15 seeds in each tray. After a week of germination in standard potting soil and tap water,

we started our manipulation of simulating herbivory with scissors. E1 plants had both cotyledons of each plant removed, E2 plants had half of the cotyledons of each plant removed, and the control group was allowed to grow. E2 plants had its foliage leaves cut when they exceeded 1 cm from that week on. Every week (seven-day intervals), the height of all the plants were recorded as well as the number of flowers and foliage leaves. By the fourth week of recording data, the average height (in cm) of the control plants was 12.15, E1 plants was 8.14, and E2 plants was 8.806. The average number of flowering plants during the fourth week of measurement was 8 plants for the control group, 4 for E1, and 9 for E2. The t-test for the height of control plants vs E1 plants was statistically significant (p=.009803). The control plants vs E2 plants was also significant (p=0.010953). The E1 vs E2 plants was not statistically significant (p= 0.292112). Our hypothesis that plants that experience a loss of half of their cotyledons will have a lower biomass than the plants that undergo continuous herbivory was not supported. We suspect that herbivory, regardless of whether it is continuous, may have an equal effect on the fast plants because we were unable to reject the null hypothesis.

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The Effects of Simulated Herbivory on the Growth of Wisconsin Fast Plants

Wisconsin Fast Plant (Brassica rapa, Brassicaceae) seeds were planted in three six-celled containers with 15 seeds in each tray. After a week of germination in standard potting soil and tap water,

we started our manipulation of simulating herbivory with scissors. E1 plants had both cotyledons of each plant removed, E2 plants had half of the cotyledons of each plant removed, and the control group was allowed to grow. E2 plants had its foliage leaves cut when they exceeded 1 cm from that week on. Every week (seven-day intervals), the height of all the plants were recorded as well as the number of flowers and foliage leaves. By the fourth week of recording data, the average height (in cm) of the control plants was 12.15, E1 plants was 8.14, and E2 plants was 8.806. The average number of flowering plants during the fourth week of measurement was 8 plants for the control group, 4 for E1, and 9 for E2. The t-test for the height of control plants vs E1 plants was statistically significant (p=.009803). The control plants vs E2 plants was also significant (p=0.010953). The E1 vs E2 plants was not statistically significant (p= 0.292112). Our hypothesis that plants that experience a loss of half of their cotyledons will have a lower biomass than the plants that undergo continuous herbivory was not supported. We suspect that herbivory, regardless of whether it is continuous, may have an equal effect on the fast plants because we were unable to reject the null hypothesis.