Seed Removal Essay

1687 words - 7 pages

Jeremy Baarsma4-24-14Ecology 372Seed Removal Experiment: Shape and ColorAbstract:Why do seeds disperse to form new plants? If the seeds simply fell and grew beneath the parent plants they would be too overcrowded and would be starved of nutrients. It is essential that the seeds are dispersed over a wide range where they stand a better chance of finding the right condition to grow. In an ecology lab class at Washington State University, we conducted a group seed removal experiment based on shape and color. I hypothesized that round shape and dark color of the largest seeds would be selected due to easier visibility amongst the grassy floor. There was one site used for this experiment which was located near shrubs and brushes. A total of twenty foil trays were used and split into four groups of species lentils, bluebunch wheatgrass, mammoth wild rye, and mammoth rye. The first series is labeled H1 which categorizes the seed shape for both lentils and bluebunch wheatgrass. Lentils are round (H1T1) and bluebunch wheatgrass is long and skinny (H1T2). The second series is labeled H2 which categorizes seed color for both mammoth wild rye and mammoth rye. Mammoth rye are dark (H2T1) and mammoth wildrye is a light color (H2T2). Each seed species were assigned five foil trays each to increase observational data. For a period of five days, each group member was responsible for checking the sites (approximately the same time of day) and replace the seeds in each tin pan that were removed to a maximum of forty per tray. The number of seeds that remained were recorded. A t-test was used to determine that both H1T1 and H2T1 exemplified a significant difference between sample means and our observationally data proved H1T1 (lentils) and H2T1 (mammoth rye) had the highest removal rate. However, there could be many factors influencing our result since natural random events can occur.Introduction:Nature has its own way to reproduce. Just like plants, it doesn't rely on human interaction to produce viable offspring. Generations of selectable traits and evolution has created its own mechanism for survival (Kolb et. Al 2007). Flowering plants reproduce themselves by producing seeds. Seed dispersal is possible with the help of wind, water, or animals. Seed dispersal becomes a necessity for survival and is important for numerous reasons. Seed dispersal enables the seeds to grow in a habitat which is away from the parent plant thus increasing its chances of survival (Orrock et al. 2006). For example with wind dispersal, the seeds are carried from original habitat and will not be overcrowded with the parent plant. If seeds were to grow beneath its parent plant, there is a possibility of competition in terms of light, space, soil, nutrients, etc. If this happens, this can potentially lead to the plants death. The seeds can also land on surfaces which will promote better growth. Those dispersed by animals may be taken to places which may protect the seeds from exposure to...

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