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Jesse Fei

10/21/15
Period 5
Purpose: Compare how photosynthesis rates differ between different plants
Background: Photosynthesis is the process that is used by plants and some
other organisms to convert light energy to chemical energy to be used by the
organism later. When the spongy mesophyll layer of leaves in the plant is
infused with O2 and CO2, the plant leaves float in water. This characteristic
can be used to observe photosynthesis rates in plant leaves. At the same
time, cellular respiration takes place, and aerobic respiration will consume
the O2 that has accumulated in the mesophyll.
Avocado leaves are usually 4 to 8 inches, and some types have a waxy
cuticle on the surface. The waxy cuticle prevents water loss, but at the same
times, also repels water. Orange tree leaves have a thicker waxy cuticle as it
is accustomed to hot climates, where sometimes water is scarce.
Hypothesis: The more pigment the leaf has (the darker the color of the leaf),
then it will have a faster rate of photosynthesis.
Procedure:
1. Gather all materials
2. Cut 10 disks from each leaf
3. Get 2 cups of the water solution with CO2 (baking soda solution)
4. Put the 10 leaf disks from the two types of plants into separate
syringes
5. Fill syringes to 5 mL with the soap and water solution. Create a vacuum
by putting your thumb over one end and drawing back on the plunger.
Hold the vacuum for 10 seconds
6. Repeat until all the leaf disks sink to the bottom of the syringe
7. Pour the leaf disks into the 2 cups.
8. Get a light (100 W) and put it on a stand 15cm from the surface of the
water in the 2 cups
9. Start the timer. Record data at the end of each minute for the leaf disks
in both cups. Swirl the cups occasionally.
10.
Continue recording until 15 minutes or until all leaf disks float

Data:
1 min
2
min
3
min
4
min
5 min
6 min
7 min
8 min
9 min
10
min
11
min
12
min
13
min
14
min
15
min

Avoca
do
0

Orang
e
0

12
10
8

2
3
5
8
10
10

0
0
0
0
0
0

10

10

10
10
10

might have

# of Leaf Discs Floating

6
4
2
0

Time (minutes)
Avocado

Orange

Analysis/Conclusion:
During the experiment, avocado leaf discs started
2
floating around 5 minutes, and all ten of the discs
were floating at 9 minutes. However, for the
3
orange leaf discs, it did not even float until 11
minutes, and at 15 minutes, only 5 of them floated.
5
This might be due to the fact that the orange tree
leaves had a thick waxy layer on its leaves, which
repelled water and reduced photosynthesis rate.

In conclusion, our hypothesis was incorrect due to the fact that orange
leaves did not have the faster reaction rate. Avocado had the faster
photosynthesis rate. This however, again, might be due to fact that the
leaves of the orange had a thick waxy cuticle.
Issues:
Again, the rate of the reaction was slower, possibly because the orange tree
leaves had a thicker waxy cuticle, which might have repelled water and
reduced photosynthesis rate. Other factors like substances in the water or a
wrong measurement (like wrong concentration of baking soda, etc.), might
have also affected the data.

We could do more trials if we were to do it again, and do a longer time


increment to see where exactly does the orange tree leaf disks all float. We
could also do another experiment to see how the size of the leaf disks, or the
CO2 concentration could affect the data.