The Study of Nitrogen Deposition on Wisconsin Fast Plants

2011 Fairfax County Regional Science and Engineering Fair

The abstract below was written by the student. The Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District made no editorial changes.

The Study of Nitrogen Deposition on Wisconsin Fast Plants

by Mahtaab Bagherzadeh, Ann Vo and Nicole Wright, Stuart High School


Ongoing research concerning the effect of anthropogenic nitrogen deposition in varying ecosystems has revealed that an increase or decrease in plan productivity is dependent on the region, though numerous studies have neglected the component of soil structure. Thus this investigation was designed, which examines the effect of nitrogen deposition in various soils on the growth of Brassica rapa. The plants were grown with nitrogen levels of 0%, 1%, 2%, and 3% via nitric acid, with the anticipation that B. rapa cultivars at the 1% level would flourish, whereas those at the 3% level would be adversely affected. Five trials were conducted for each level of nitrogen deposition being tested, with each being given 10 mL of the appropriate nitric acid solution once a day. B. rapa growth was measured in centimeters on a daily basis; root and shoot mass measurements were collected following two weeks. Data analysis determined that the control group's growth increased continuously over time; the 1% and 2% group increased with some fluctuation, although the 2% group fluctuated decreasingly towards the end; and the 3% group initially increased, but regressed notably during the last week. Root and shoot masses tended to correlate inversely with acid concentration. The height decreased due to increasingly large amounts of nitrogen present. This study demonstrated the harms of excess nitrogen, underlining how crucial it is to retain stable levels of anthropogenic nitrogen in an environment.

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