Falling Velocity And The Dispersal Ability Of A Beetle Seed

Improved Essays
Kishan Patel
Section: 008 Pattern: Falling velocity and the dispersal ability of a glider seed varies with its surface area.
• Hypothesis 1: Increase in surface area of the seeds decreases their falling velocity, due to greater air resistance o Prediction: Seeds with the higher surface area will have a decreased falling velocity. o Reasoning: The greater the surface area of a seed, the more air resistance it experiences and thereby slowing its fall.
 Analytical Approach: scatterplot, regression
• Independent Variable: Surface area
• Dependent Variable: Falling velocity
• Hypothesis 2: Seeds with a larger surface area will have a greater dispersal distance, due to greater air resistance. o Prediction 2: Seeds with a higher surface area
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Introduction: All plants need water, sunlight, and nutrients in order to grow. Competition is the driving force for species distribution and abundance. If the seed falls immediately within close vicinity of the parent it cannot use the resources around it because they are already being used by its parent. Therefore, the seed needs to travel to a different location in order to get the resources it needs. This relocation of seeds from their birth site to their breeding site is called dispersal.
Competition always decreases the fitness of an organism. Organisms compete for essential resources. Mobile organisms can just travel to another niche, however, plants are immobile and compete for resources more aggressively. Plants have adapted different morphological features such as lighter seeds, greater seed surface area etc to avoid competition. The greater the distribution the less likely they will encounter other plants and more resources will be available for their growth. Plants have evolved different strategies to facilitate dispersion to new locations such as dispersal by wind, vectors, fire, water, ballistic
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Increasing the surface area had a significant increases the dispersal distance of the seeds (F1, 2= 2076.96, p=0.01, R2=0.99, y=-1.59 + 0.05x, Figure 2)
The surface area of the seed and dispersal distance shows a positive correlation (p>.05). The dispersal distance increased by .05 m for an increase in surface area by 1 cm^2 (Figure 2). Seeds with larger surface area traveled a greater distance.
Discussion
Results show no significant correlation between the seed surface area and the falling velocity of the seed (F1, 2= 3.77, p=0.30, R2=0.79, y=3.60 - 0.01x, Figure 1). They fail to support our hypothesis that the increase in surface area of the seeds decreases their falling velocity, due to greater air resistance Therefore they reject our hypothesis that falling velocity decreases with an increase in seed surface area. Results indicate a significantly positive correlation between the seed surface area and dispersal distance of the seeds. They support our hypothesis that Seeds with a larger surface area will have a greater dispersal distance, due to greater air resistance. Therefore, results fail to reject our hypothesis that an increase in seed surface area increases the dispersal distance of the

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