Temperature and Plants Essay

Submitted By 2015mentchal
Words: 2472
Pages: 10

How Air Temperature Affects the Growth of Arugula

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Teacher Name
Honors Biology
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Table of Contents
Abstract……........................................................................................................…………….…...3
Introduction………….........................................................................................................…….…4
Materials and Methods….........................................................................................................…....6
Results………......................……...........................................................................…....…….…....9
Discussion…...........................................................................…..........................……………….11
Conclusion…….................................................................................................…....……………13
Acknowledgements….................................................................................................…....……...14
References………..................................................................................................…....…………14

1. Abstract
This lab compared the temperature differences between the normal fall temperatures, and the temperatures inside a cold frame and how that affected the growth of arugula plants. If the air temperature around the arugula is increased by the cold frame, then the amount of growth of the arugula leaves in grams will increase because the cold temperatures of the fall will reduce the growth rate outside the cold frame. After constructing the cold frame and planting the arugula seeds, the minimum and maximum air temperatures were recorded every day, along with the ground temperatures. Then, three of the largest plants were picked every week to compare their heights and weights. Throughout the experiment, the temperatures inside the cold frame were warmer, which caused the plants to increase in size and weight. The plants that were exposed to the fall elements were smaller due to the colder temperatures. The results supported the hypothesis of this experiment because the plants inside the cold frame were heavier than those outside. The experiment was extremely useful in demonstrating the difference that a few degrees can make on the amount of growth in plants. Agriculturally, this extends the season of crop harvests by several weeks.

2. Introduction
This experiment was meant to test how the air temperatures inside a cold frame affected the growth of arugula in the fall. Arugula, or Eruca vesicaria sativa, is a vegetable with leaves similar to lettuce. It can be eaten raw in a salad, or cooked. This plant is known for growing in cool weather and can endure frosts. It grows best in dampened, fertile soil, and likes full sun (“How to Grow”). Because arugula grows so well in conditions such as these, it was a perfect candidate for growing in the autumn. Also, knowing that it likes full sun, it supported my prediction that the cold frame would help the arugula grow. A cold frame is a wooden box surrounding the plants, and a pane of glass as the roof. The southern side of the cold frame is twelve inches high, and the back (northern) is eighteen inches high. The difference in heights produces about a ten degree angle of the glass top which increases the sun exposure by minimizing the shadows from the southern side of the frame (“Growing Vegetable in a Cold”). Also, variations of cold frames have been used for hundreds of years as a way to extend the growing season, such as in Britain. Glass coverings called cloches (Figure 1) were commonly used to warm the earth and help grow more foods from the Mediterranean area (“Victorian Cold Frames”).
The fact that lower temperatures slow down photosynthesis, which in turn, slows plant growth was the basis for the idea behind cold frames. Figure 2 shows that as temperature increases, so does photosynthesis up to a…