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How can I measure the amount of minerals the plants are taking in through their roots and leaves?

I want to compare the recovery of native and non- native plants after fire.

Question Date: 2010-11-03
Answer 1:

Note from the moderator: This is the answer for one of three questions sent by the student. For the rest of the questions-answers, go to our "search" and type "fire".

Thats a great research question. The plants will take in CO2 through the leaves, but the other nutrients will come up through the roots. I cant think of any easy ways to measure it in the plant, but if you have a soil testing kit you could see if nutrients in the soil go down. Then you could infer that the plants absorbed them. It might make sense to just measure the growth of both kinds of plants in both kinds of soil, though. Can you think of reasons why native plants may respond to fire better?

Thanks for asking. Fire is always fun to talk about.

Answer 2:

You could, and there are instruments to do that, but I don't know what they are or how to use them.

How much time do you have to conduct the study? A much simpler study, if you have the time, is to compare the relative abundance of invasive plants versus natives in a plot of land that burned, and a plot of land next to it that did not burn, and see what differences, if any, exist.

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