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Can Water Plants Be Used to Determine Water Quality?

Summary

Areas of Science
Difficulty
 
Time Required
Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites
None
Material Availability
Duckweed can be purchased from plant nurseries, or you can also find it growing naturally in local ponds and marshes. If you find the duckweed in a local water source, make sure you get permission from the land owner or town before taking any.
Cost
Low ($20 - $50)
Safety
No issues
Credits
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Abstract

Some plants grow only in water-logged environments. These plants are usually native to wetlands and are important for the sustainability of aquatic ecosystems. Wetland ecosystems are very fragile and susceptible to the toxic dumping of sewage and fertilizer run-off from neighboring farm land. One very common aquatic plant called duckweed inhabits many wetland marshes. Duckweed grows by asexual reproduction and floats at the surface of the water with tiny roots extending into the water below. Can you find duckweed from a local pond or wetland? You can grow the duckweed at home in bowls of water. Will the duckweed grow well in different types of water? Will it grow better in bottled mineral water than when using tap water? What will happen to duckweed grown in acidic water, or water with fertilizer? Are there other types of water contaminants you can test with duckweed? Consult the Measuring Plant Growth page for tips on how to determine which duckweed is growing the most.
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MLA Style

Science Buddies Staff. "Can Water Plants Be Used to Determine Water Quality?" Science Buddies, 28 July 2017, https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project-ideas/PlantBio_p030/plant-biology/water-quality-plants. Accessed 17 May 2022.

APA Style

Science Buddies Staff. (2017, July 28). Can Water Plants Be Used to Determine Water Quality? Retrieved from https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project-ideas/PlantBio_p030/plant-biology/water-quality-plants


Last edit date: 2017-07-28
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