Forest Rascals

Project by group chsparfittspring2020

Info

Explore Work on this next!
What do we know about plants from our experiences outside of school? What have we discovered in class and background research? What questions about plants interest us?
Research Question -Does the density of the spores influence germination rate? -Does the density of the spores influence the hermaphrodite to male ratio?
Predictions What are the possible outcomes of our study given the variables we are working with? What is our explanation for why and how we think this will happen?
Experimental Design What is our plan? Be sure to include enough detail that another group can replicate our experiment. What variables will we test? What variables will we measure and observe? What variables will we keep constant? How will we record our data?
Conclusion What claim can we make from our experiment? What are possible explanations for our results? How do the data we collected and our reasoning with scientific ideas support our claim? What future experiments could be done to expand on the results of this experiment?

Updates

Get to know your team’s scientist mentor, who will encourage and guide you through the scientific process of discovery. The more you share your ideas and research info, the more your mentor can help. You may also hear from a scientist mentor liaison who will be helping all the teams in your class.
PlantingScience Staff
has been updated by administrator
Gwen
said

Hey! We communicated with our teacher about using a hemacytometer to count how many spores there are as well as using a smaller amount of water and more dishes. Unfortunately, we don't have those resources. However, we will present our information collected today in another message.

    Elizabeth Stunz
    said

    Hello Gwen!

    Thanks for the update. It sounds like you are able to quantify spores per droplet pretty reliably and you can always create a makeshift hemocytometer with gridded paper under your petri dishes...I'm sure you will come up with creative, repeatable methods to obtain good data for your project. I look forward to hearing more about your experimental set-up and gametophyte growth as your project progresses!

Avery
changed the project settings
Avery
updated the project info
Elizabeth Stunz
said

Hi team,

Your experimental design looks good! I know you're not sure about spore #s yet, but do you have any estimates about what you might expect per treatment? Also, would you be able to use a hemacytometer to count how many spores per drop there are? A hemocytometer is just a gridded slide to use with a compound microscope to count cells (or in this case spores).

Also, 10mL increments may be a little much, especially depending on how many spores you will have in solution. It may be more appropriate to dilute by 2mL or 5mL per treatment. Also, do you think it would be possible to do one or two more replicates per treatment? If you can only use 4 dishes for your experiment, that's fine, but if you could use 12 (3 replicates per treatment) then you would have much more statistical power and stronger results if you end up seeing similar patterns for all replicates of each treatment.

Your hypotheses about what you may see sound reasonable and well thought-out. I look forward to seeing photos of your experiment once you get it set up!

Gwen
said

our experiment set up below

Gwen
uploaded IMG_9184.jpg in project files
Gwen
said

Our hypothesis-

We expect the male population to increase as there is more room for males to avoid females.

We expect the germination rate to increase with the more room for spores

Gwen
said

We will analyze our spores under a microscope as we will be able to determine the male to female ratio as well as germination rate under a microscope.

 

Avery
said

I think we are going to use 4 dishes to do our experiment with one of those dishes being our control. We were thinking about also doing our dilutions in increments of 10 mL

Gwen
uploaded IMG_8442.jpg in project files
Gwen
said

We created a diagram of our experiment however it is not allowing us to paste or save it.- nevermind, we figured it out

Katie
said

Can you please clarify what an independent and dependent variable so we can apply it to our experiment of serial dilution?

    Elizabeth Stunz
    said

    Hi Katie,

    I think the best way to remember the difference between independent and dependent variables is to think of the independent variable as the manipulated variable and the dependent variable as the response variable. For example, if you wanted to test how salinity affects plant growth then your saline concentrations would be your manipulated variable and your measurements of plant height and leaf length would be your response variables.

    Hope that's helpful, and let me know if I can clarify anything else.

Gwen
said

Finally, what substrate do you plan to grow your ferns on and how many serial dilutions would you use? What dilutions would you like to test?

So, we are thinking we want to the serial dillution to acess the competition among spores assosiated with growth rates. We think that we have the most correct materials for this experiment.

    Elizabeth Stunz
    said

    Gwen,

    Those sound like great questions to test. So, you will be inoculating plates with different spore dilutions and then you plan to collect data on how many spores become gametophytes as well as whether gametophytes are hermaphrodites or males?

    Also, how many dilution treatments and many replications for each dilution treatment do you plan to use?

Kim Allyn Parfitt
said

Hey Forest Rascals,

I love your enthusiasm and you made great progress today on your scientific thinking related to the Cfern experiment. I do, however, suggest that you up your game related to being scholarly for the Engage part of your experiment project page. Remember, you are representing Central High School and I know how amazingly fantastic you all are so let's have your work reflect that :)

Kim Allyn Parfitt
joined the project
Gwen
said

Gwen
said

Gwen
changed the project settings
Gwen
updated the project info
Gwen
changed the project settings
Gwen
updated the project info
Gwen
changed the project settings
Gwen
updated the project info
Gwen
replaced project picture
Gwen
said

: Does the density of the spores influence germination rate?

: Does the density of the spores influence the hermaphrodite to male ratio?

Gwen
said

Some possible experimental questions-

- We know that sexually reproduced plants are more likely to survive under environmental pressures, when pressured are rates of reproduction increased?

-We are aware that alcohol causes fetal deformaton in humans and their cells and that an alcohol content over 25% will kill a plant. Is it possible that alcohol will effect growth and development of plants under 25%?

-Do different materials in the environment hinder or aid sperm in traveling to an egg (ex sand, dirt, rocks) we would need to make a connection between the materials.

-Is there a way we can produce a sexual or sexual reproduction in the fern?

- will serial dilution within the spores affect the growth rate and competition of the ferns?

 

    Elizabeth Stunz
    said

    Gwen,

    Those questions are all very interesting! To decide on which question you would like to test, I would first assess the materials you have on hand or can obtain to carry out the experiment and adequately test your question/hypothesis.

    I have a couple of questions for you. For your question ' Is it possible that alcohol will effect growth and development of plants under 25%?', how would you administer the alcohol? Would you mist your spores with an alcohol dilution during their whole life cycle?

    Also, I really like the idea of testing whether different materials hinder sperm in traveling to the egg. How would you set this up? Would you try and replicate a rainfall event for each treatment (ex. sand or rocks) to see if the sperm could be splashed onto the egg?

    What treatments would you use to try and induce asexual vs. sexual reproduction?

    Finally, what substrate do you plan to grow your ferns on and how many serial dilutions would you use? What dilutions would you like to test?

     

     

Elizabeth Stunz
said

Also, I really like your team name and photo!

Katie
said

It's nice to meet you, Lauren and Avery will not be joining us today because they're at a track meet. It's hard to choose a favorite plant, but i really like cattails.

    Elizabeth Stunz
    said

    Hi Katie! Nice to meet you too! Cattails are really cool plants. The way the spike of male flowers grows on top of the spike of female flowers gives them an unusual look and their underwater rhizomes provide habitat for a variety of animals like frogs and salamanders so they're very useful too.

Gwen
said

Hi Liz! I'm so happy to hear back from you. Today in class we talked a lot about the differences between sexual and a sexual reproduction, which is far more complex than i had previously believed. I'm interested to understand about the differences in offspring between plants who reproduce in both ways, for example do they grow differently. I do not know a lot about plants but i quite like aloe plants because they make my skin soft, when i was in Kansas over the summer my aunt and I had one, and it was awesome!

    Elizabeth Stunz
    said

    Hi Gwen!

    Plants are so versatile in the ways they reproduce, I always enjoy being able to teach the reproduction of more ancient, simple plants like ferns (that have motile sperm and need water to carry the sperm to the egg) and more complex plants like angiosperms that can often produce asexually and sexually. Part of my dissertation work involves looking at the dwarf birch (Betula nana), which reproduces asexually by producing shoots from its stem base and also reproduces sexually with flowers (catkins). The main difference between plants grown sexually and plants grown asexually is that sexual reproduction creates a genetically distinct plant from the parent, due to meiosis. While this might not help some plants in environments that remain consistent, a population of plants that has more genetic variation is more likely to survive and persist after an environmental shift (like increasing temperatures), because some will have genetic variants that allow them to cope with increasing temperatures. A population of clonal plants is much more likely to die off if a change in the environment occurs. Let me know if you need any more clarification on this topic: I love to discuss adaptation and genetic variation of plants!

    Also, the aloe is a wonderful plant! I love using the pulp on my skin and drinking it too.

Gwen
changed the project settings
Gwen
updated the project info
Gwen
changed the project settings
Gwen
updated the project info
Gwen
replaced project picture
Gwen
replaced project picture
Elizabeth Stunz
said

Hi Avery, Gwen, Katie, and Lauren!

My name is Liz and I will be your scientist mentor for this project. I am a PhD student in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology program at the University of Texas at El Paso. My dissertation project mainly focuses on one plant, the tussock cottongrass (Eriophorum vaginatum), and how its DNA changes in populations across the arctic landscape. I really enjoy my research as it allows me to investigate how the DNA of plant populations is shaped by the movement of seeds, pollen and the environment.

When I'm not doing lab work or writing chapters I enjoy riding my bike, hiking, going to shows, playing the drums and dancing.

One of my favorite plants is the Stalked Bulbine (Bulbine frutescens). It belongs to the aloe family, has cute orange flowers with bearded stamens and is a very drought tolerant, hardy desert plant. What are all of your favorite plants and why?

I look forward to working with you this session. Let me know what hypotheses you come up with when you start brainstorming project ideas!

 

 

Avery
said

Hello! My name is Avery and I am very excited to learn more about this website and this project. My interests include soccer, track, tennis, and I am very interested in psychology. I can't wait to jump on in to this project and learn more about the types of experiments we will do.

Gwen
said

Hello. My name is Gwen and I am very intrigued to learn more about ferns and the roles they play in our ecosystem. I also would like to clarify some of my understanding on the scientific processes. I am looking forward to meeting and working with you throughout this project. Some of my interests include student senate, debate, and band. My aspirations for the future are political sciences and education. Thank you for taking your time for this project!

Avery
joined the project
Katie
said

Hi! My name is Katie, I'm very exited to meet you. I enjoy swimming, tennis, and math. I'm very eager to learn more about conducting experiments.

Gwen
joined the project
Lauren C
said

Hello my name is Lauren, i am hoping to gain a better understanding of the scientific method, and the ferns that we will be working with. Some of my interests include cross country and track, as well as soccer.

Katie
joined the project
Lauren C
joined the project
Elizabeth Stunz
joined the project
Chloe Pak Drummond
joined the project
PlantingScience Staff
said

Welcome to your PlantingScience project page!

Welcome to this community of plant researchers. As your team plans and conducts your own research project, you will be mentored by a scientist. The mentor's role is to encourage and guide you through the process of scientific discovery. The more you share your ideas and research information online, the more your mentor can help. You can also find out more about your mentor. What is their research about? Why did they go into science? What do they like to do when they are not working?

You may also hear from this classroom’s assigned scientist liaison. Liaisons work with several mentors and help make sure the conversations are going strong. They may also offer some extra advice or encouragement.

Two resources can help you get started:

Best wishes as you start this scientific journey. We are all pleased to share this experience with you. Have fun!

To set up your project page:

  • Choose your project team name. Need inspiration? Visit the project gallery to see other student teams.
  • Upload a photo or avatar for your team.
  • Introduce yourselves to your scientist mentor and get the conversation started!
  • PLEASE ONLY CLICK "Share with team" ONCE. Sometimes the page takes a little while to refresh, so please be patient!
  • In order to protect student privacy, please DO NOT share:
    • last names
    • social media handles
    • links to Google/Sharepoint documents, spreadsheets, or images
  • We will remove these items as we find them in posts.
PlantingScience Staff
joined the project