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Background:

Soil salinity is the salt content in the soil, and in most environments there are at least small traces
of salt within the soil. Salinization is the increasing of said soil salinity levels, and this can occur
naturally of though human action. In nature, soil itself may have an excess amount of soluble
salts, or shallow saline ground water table, and the rainfall does not adequately wash out the salts
from the soil. Salinization can also naturally occur though processes such as mineral weathering
or the gradual withdrawal of an ocean. Humans can cause salinization by irrigating land, without
proper drainage, of salts with the water flow. This causes the salt to stay behind when the water
is evaporated, increase the soil salinity, and destroying the fertility of the soil. If the soil of an
ecosystem is destroyed in this manner widespread consequences ensue. Firstly, the organisms
that rely on the soil for sustenance, this being the plants, the animals that eat the plant, and so up
the food chain, will perish. This would decimate the natural populations and kill of whole
ecosystems if not checked properly. 3,000-6,000 ppm in the soil is the usually range for salt
levels to negatively affect plant growth. Economically this hurt people for farmers would lose
their whole livelihood if fields become too saturated with salts that they cannot support the
farmers needs and they would lose their jobs. Other than farmers becoming unemployed, if one
looks at the prices such as basic agricultural commodities, such as wheat and corn, the prices will
go up due to the lack of supply on the market. This of course would be caused by the poor to no
yields due to the salinization of soil when irrigation practices go unchecked and fields are not
maintained properly. The issue of soil salinization is a particularly rampant issue in semi-arid to
arid regions of the globe, such as the Mideast, the Chinese
North Plain, and Central Asia, where
ABSTRACT
Testing solutions
the effect
concentrations
on
the use of irrigation is widespread yet poorly drained. Theyre
to of
thissalt
issue.
One
mung
bean
germination.
primary solution is to inundate the soil with fresh water in an effort to wash out the salts. This
usually results in the salinization of river and ground water, forcing areas to build desalinization
Isabel Herrick
plants
Isabel Herrick, Esha Clements, Zach

MUNG BEAN

Reynolds, and Ali Paolini

Purpose: Our purpose in doing this experiment is to determine how Mung seeds react to
different salinities, considering germination and growth rates.

REACTION TO

Hypothesis: We hypothesize that if the salinity is above .815% then the seeds will not germinate.

DIFFERING

Materials:

18 mung beans

SALINITY

1 Graduated cylinder

6 plastic bags

30 ml of tap water

6 paper towels

5 ml of 3.5% saltwater

6 test tubes

LEVELS

Procedure:
1. Fill each test tube with 5ml of water

11. Shake test tube 5.

2. Fill test tube 1 with 5ml of 3.5% salt


solution

12. Put one paper towel in each bag.

3. Shake test tube 1

13. Put 3 mung seeds in each bag.


14. Label bags 1 through 6.

4. Take 5 mL of test tube 1 and pour it


into test tube 2.

15. Add 5 mL of test tube 1 to bag 1.

5. Shake test tube 2

16. Add 5 mL of test tube 2 to bag 2.

6. Take 5 mL of test tube 2 and pour it


into test tube 3.

17. Add 5 mL of test tube 3 to bag 3.

7. Shake test tube 3.

19. Add 5 mL of test tube 5 to bag 5.

8. Take 5 mL of test tube 3 and pour it


into test tube 4.

20. Add 5 mL of test tube 6 to bag 6.

9. Shake test tube 4.


10. Take 5 mL of test tube 4 and pour it
into test tube 5.

18. Add 5 mL of test tube 4 to bag 4.

21. Allow each to sit for 24 hours.


22. Open bags and measure each seed,
record findings. Do this once a day
for as long as desired.

23.
24. Salinity by Bag
25. Test tube

26. Salinity

27. 1

28. 1.78%

29. 2

30. .815%

31. 3

32. .4375%

33. 4

34. .21875%

35. 5

36. .109375

37. 6

38. <.01% (control)

39.
40.

41. Data Tables


42. Da
y

43. Ba
g

44. Observations

46. 1

47. Seeds slightly swollen

49. 2

50. Seeds not visible

52. 3

53. Seeds more green and swollen.

55. 4

56. Seeds more green and swollen

58. 5

59. Seeds very swollen

61. 6

62. Seeds very swollen

64.

65.

67. 1

68. Seeds swollen with white peeking out

70. 2

71. Swollen w/ small sprouts

73. 3

74. Less sprouting but darker green

76. 4

77. Swollen with a large sprout

79. 5

80. Small sprouting, less swollen.

82. 6

83. More sprouting w/ light green color.

85.

86.

88. 1

89. One sprouted, one dead

91. 2

92. Three sprouted; ~1cm sprouts

94. 3

95. ~2cm sprouts

97. 4

98. ~4cm sprouts

100.
5

101.

~3cm sprouts

103.
6

104.

~2cm sprouts

105.

106.

107.

108.
6

109.
1

110.
One dead, one missing, one blotchy brown green
with a 1.5cm tail

45. 1

63.

66. 2

84.

87. 3

128.

131.
7

149.
150.
151.

112.
2

113.

All three sprouted. 4.5cm, 3cm, 2.5cm

115.
3

116.

6.5cm, 7cm, 6cm,

118.
4

119.
Two fully sprouted with shells discarded and
branching roots, grown into paper towel.
120.

15cm, 6cm, 7.5cm

122.
5

123.

12cm, 3.5cm, 5cm

125.
6

126.

One grown into bag

127.

8cm, 8cm, 1.5cm

129.

130.

132.
1

133.

One is 1.5 and dying, the other is dead.

135.
2

136.

4.5cm, 2cm, 1.5cm one broken

138.
3

139.

8.5cm, 8cm, ~7cm

141.
4

142.
Grown through the bag, 2 cast off shells, 7cm,
15.5cm, 8cm

144.
5

145.

5.5cm, 12cm, 4.5cm,

147.
6

148.

9.5cm, 11cm, 2cm

152.
153.

Graph:

Mung Seed Halotolerance


12

10.16

10
9.5

7.83
7.5
7.3
6.83
6.5

Height (in cm)

5.83

4
3.3

2.6
2

0 0

Day 1
Bag 1

154.

Bag 2

1
0.7
0.5
0.2

1
0.2

Day 2

Day 3
Bag 3

Bag 4

Bag 5

Day 6

Day 7

Bag 6

155.
156.
157.

Pictures:

158.

Day five bag six

Day six bag five

Day five bag three

Day five bag four

159.

160.

161.

162.
163.
164.

Day five bag one

Day five bag two

165.
Conclusion: We learned that a .21875% is the optimal salinity level for the
growth of mung beans. An extreme salinity, like the 3.5% concentration of the ocean, will
cause reduced to even no germination in mung beans.
166.
What I learned: I learned that plants need some salt in their cells, as it is a part of
diffusion, and making sure their cells do not explode from an overabundance of water.
This means that malnourished soils can be detrimental to plants almost as much as too
much salt. Through the scope of chemistry, we know that this means salt must is one of
the necessary minerals found in soils, alongside nitrates and other compounds.
167.

Analysis: We found that overall the best salinity level for growing mung beans

was .21875%. This encouraged, but did not directly support, our hypothesis that any
salinity above .815% will cause the seeds not to germinate. The two bags with a salinity
level higher than this were bags one and two. While bag one had 50% of the samples not
germinate, bag two experienced full germination and grew to a maximum length of 3.3
centimeters. Due to a breakage during measurement, bag two seemed to experience a
decay of .7 centimeters over the course of a day. Because both of these bags had at least
one seed germinate, our hypothesis was false. Bag three, with a .4375% salinity content,
experienced the second-largest amount of growth, .33 centimeters larger than the control
and 2.33 centimeters less than bag four, the largest one. Bag four had a salinity of .
21875%, which was about 12% less salt than bag one. Bag four experienced the most
growth by far; the control grew 2.66 centimeters more than the control. Bag five had a
salinity of .109375% and grew the fourth largest; smaller than the control by only .2
centimeters and larger than the next largest bag, bag two, by 4.7 centimeters. One day one
no one of the seeds had germinated. By day two bags four and the control were tied for
the lead at 1 centimeter, with bag three next at .7 centimeters, then bags two and five with
.5 centimeters of growth, and bag one with a small .5 centimeters. Day three saw bag four
overtake bag five by a full centimeter, totaling 4 centimeters. Bag five made three

centimeters, bags three and control were tied at two, bag two had one centimeter, and bag
one had merely .2 centimeters of growth. A weekend was passed, and all of the bags
experienced large amounts of growth. Bag four had a monumental lead, by far the largest
at 9.5 centimeters. Bag five was 2.67 centimeters behind, at 6.83 centimeters. Bag three
was just .33 centimeters behind bag five at 6.5 centimeters. The control held a steady
middle with 5.83 centimeters of total growth. Bag two was 2.53 centimeters behind the
control with only 3.3 centimeters of total growth. Bag one made a shocking leap of .8
centimeters to rest at a whopping 1 centimeter. The last day of measurement, day seven,
saw bag five fall to fourth largest, overtaken by bag three as the second largest and the
control as third. Bag two was broken in the process of measurement, leaving it with 2.6
centimeters of total growth. Bag one failed to make any more shocking leaps, and ended
out with 1 centimeter of growth, and one dead mung bean besides. Overall the mung
beans were happiest at .21875% salinity, with capable but decreasing ability to grow
towards decreasing and increasing levels of salinity.
168.