Germination of Acacia Seeds

Year 11 Biology students have been conducting an investigation into the effect of heat during different periods of time, on the germination rates of acacia seeds. The idea is to model the effect heat has on native seeds in the natural environment and how Australian natives are adapted to the effect of fire.

We asked Lilli Radley and Taelari White about their investigation.

Taelari, what event in the natural environment is being modelled in this investigation?

By placing acacia seeds into boiling water at different time intervals it represents the effect the heat of a fire would have on the impact of the germination rate of the seeds. 

Tell us about the predictions your group made about heating time and seed germination?

My group predicted that the longer time interval that the acacia seeds were placed into the boiling water would show a slower rate or possibly no signs of germination while we were recording data. But we believe that after a longer period of time they may they show signs. 

Lilli does it help to conduct an investigation to improve your understanding of the scientific process?

This experiment does help me to understand an investigation. By performing an experiment and following the method correctly to ensure all the variables were kept the same, demonstrates how to form other investigations. By having an experimental group and a control group it enables us to compare results and be able to make them more reliable. By analysing our data through the accuracy, validity and reliability, it conveys how we would ensure that all experiments we conduct in the future are to be as trustworthy and believable as they can be. This experiment demonstrated how we can find real-life issues within our society such as bushfires and use the method of a scientific investigation to find possible outcomes for the effects of them. 

Do you find the discussions you have during practical work benefit your learning?

Discussion during practical work helps me wrap my brain around the topics we learn about in class. Experiments like this help me understand the scientific method further as well as the process of germination in seeds and the environment seeds need to be in to thrive. Practicals benefit my learning by allowing me to further understand natural processes through real-life examples.

Was there something you discovered or learnt during this prac that you were not aware of before?

Something new that I discovered doing this experiment was that seeds produce sugar on themselves to attract ants. I learnt that some seeds produce something called an elaiosome that attracts ants to the seed that will then disperse them, allowing the plant to grow in multiple places around its environment.

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