Effect of Leaf Stomata Density on Variation of Different Environmental Conditions
Author: Patrick Sperandeo
Institution: The Department of Biology, James Madison University
Plant structures that are usually found under trees leaves that control water loss are called stomata. Plants control water loss through the opening and closing of the stomata or by varying density. The purpose of this experiment was to see how sunlight exposure affected stomatal density. Since high light density associates with high stomata density, it was predicted that there was more stoma on higher leaves than lower leaves. However, there may be more stoma on lower leaves due to water stress; higher leaves would create shade for lower leaves.
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Therefore, stomata can open and close throughout the day to control water loss. In addition to stomata controlling water loss, plants can change in stomata density. The greater the stomata density, the more efficient control of water loss. So, one would expect to find greater stomata density in areas of high water loss. Because the amount of sunlight exposure directly relates with water loss, greater stomata density is expected to be in areas of greater sunlight exposure. Therefore it is logical to say that plants have more stomata where it is opening them the most, the lower regions in this case. The main question of this study encompasses how sunlight exposure affects stomata density. Plants can differ in stomata densities, which shows their resilience to environmental changes. Because high light density correlates with high stomata density, the following were predicted. First, leaves in the shade have fewer stomata than those in the light. Lastly, leaves on the outer part of the plant have more stomata than on the inner part. In this experiment, the effect of differing leaf heights was observed to see if there was a difference in stomata density. The null hypothesis would be that the effect of differing leaf height does not have an effect on stomata density. It was predicted that leaves collected with high sunlight of a tree that would have more stomata than those in the shade. Other hypotheses could have been made and tested to answer this