Faculty Sponsor

Ava Howard




The plant root system functions in water/mineral absorption, food storage and anchoring for the plant’s shoot systems. When a plant is experiencing root restriction, it becomes more stressed. In this study, I aimed to investigate the relationship between root restriction and the physiological effects on Helianthus annuus; I hypothesized that H. annuus will experience reduced physiological function. Control plants (n=5) were grown in 7-Liter pots and root restricted plants (n=5) were grown in 9 cm pots. After four weeks of treatment with ample water and nutrients, a series of physiological and anatomical tests were performed. The root restricted plants had a decrease in both total leaf area and leaf area to mass ratio, but produced similar maximum photosynthesis rate per unit area as the control plants. The results of this study provided mixed results for my hypothesis, suggesting that the decrease in root volume negatively affects physiological and anatomical functions of the plant, but the plant is able to acclimate to the space it is planted in.

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Text; Image; StillImage








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