The germination of a seed is the process of the development of a plant from a seed and the sprouting of a seedling from the seed. Salinity is the concentration of dissolved salt content in a body of water. In relation to plant growth, salinity occurs through natural or human processes, which occurs from an accumulation of dissolved salts in soil water to an extent that can inhibit plant growth. This occurs because in order to germinate, seeds require proper oxygen, temperature, water and nutrients and without this, the seedling may become inactive or germinate very slowly.
The salinity in soil is one of the main factors that limits the spread of plants in their natural habitats. It is an increasing problem in arid and semi-arid regions. This directly relates to Australia, where currently, there is a gradual loss of farm grazing land due to the rise of salt in soil. Farmers are watching their farms degrade and billions of dollars are being lost because of the effect of salinity on crops and vegetation. There are very few plants that can grow on salt-affected land, and the quality is reduced by rising salinization. Western Australia is currently Australia's largest wheat producing state, but also a place where salt store is extremely immense, but the movement of water in the sub-surface is slow meaning the restoration of this salt effected land will take generations or may never recover. The problem is so large that the Western Wheat belt, an area in Western Australia is losing areas of land equal to one football oval an hour. Therefore, by placing wheat seeds in different concentrated saline environments there is the opportunity to explore the toleration of wheat seeds and how the quality of the seed germination differs in different salines. This is important as it directly relates to increasing problems the Australian Agriculture industry are facing.
To determine the effect of different salinities on the rate of growth and germination of wheat seeds.
That the higher concentration of saline, the slower the rate of growth and germination in wheat seeds
This practical was completed to determine the effect of different concentrations of salt on wheat seeds. To do this, six petri dishes each containing wheat seeds, were lined with cotton wool and dropped with 10ml of six different concentration of saline, ranging evenly from 0% to 10% (e.g. 0%, 2%, 4%, 6%, 8%, 10%). Across a 7-day period, each petri dish was watered twice with its respective concentration of saline and results were recorded to measure the average growth of the wheat seeds in each petri dish.
The results showed that the petri dish with 100% tap water obtained the largest growth in comparison to the other petri dishes. The dishes that were exposed to salt water had an affected germination process and as the salt concentration increased to 8% and 10%, no germination occurred and the seeds became inactive. This supported the hypothesis which was "t...