In this three week lab, students use the technique of making clear nail polish impressions of leaf stomata to generate and test an hypothesis of their choice about how leaf stomata density might vary under different environmental conditions. First, students learn how stomata density affects leaf carbon, water, heat budgets, and photosynthesis. Then, students design their own study to compare stomata density among leaves that differ in biophysical environment on their campuses. Over the next two weeks, students collect and analyze their data (graphs and t-tests), and present their results in an in-class symposium.
At the conclusion of this multiweek lab, students will:
Equipment/ Logistics Required:
Summary of What is Due:
______________________________________________________________ Keyword Descriptors:
From this multiweek lab, students submit
Principal Ecological Question Addressed:
Effects of biophysical environmental conditions on the adaptive design of plant leaves.
Ecological Topic Keywords: plant physiological ecology, biophysical ecology, environmental adaptation, stomata, photosynthesis, autecology.
Science Methodological Skills Developed: field work, hypothesis generation and testing, microscopy, statistics, graphics, data analysis, scientific writing, oral research presentations.
Pedagogical Methods Used: student-directed inquiry, cooperative learning, problem-based learning, scoring rubrics