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The Effect of pH on Plant Health and Plant Filtration of Toxicants in Wetland Ecosystems

Student(s):Anna Hopkins, Nhu Nguyen, Rachael Lawless
Grade Level:Secondary School (grades 9-12, ages 14-18)
GLOBE Teacher:
Date Submitted: 05/10/2019

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This project is about how the pH scale can help to determine the overall health of an ecosystem.
Using data collected using GLOBE’s atmosphere and hydrosphere protocols, conclusions were made about the overall health of the ecosystem of the large pond in front of INFINITY Science Center, which has been set up as Hydrology Site #1, and also the weather station on INFINITY’s Biome Boardwalk. In the classroom at Grace Baptist Academy, experiments were conducted on plants in order to determine ideal pH conditions for plant health. The initial hypothesis was that the plants would grow better in a slightly acidic soil environment but concluded that the plants, including native bladderwort from INFINITY Science Center’s Hydrology Site #1, grew better in a more basic environment and soil.
The xylem tissue in plants is known to help filter heavy metals and pollutants out of the ecosystem. Unhealthy plants will not filter effectively. From experimentation, data collection, and analysis of the data, it was concluded that an acidic environment would have a negative effect on plant health and hence on the ecosystem as well.