This lab’s intention was to determine which decomposed
material would stimulate the lima beans to grow faster and taller (mm/day). The
lima bean plants grew within the soil containing decomposed tomatoes as the
soil slightly acidic, ideal pH for lima bean plants (Iannotti, 2017). This
would explain why the lima bean plants (mainly trial 3 and 5) in the soil
containing decomposed tomatoes had the fastest growth rate and the highest
final average height of all manipulations. Furthermore, tomatoes release
phosphorus and magnesium when they decompose, explaining the higher average
lima bean height when they grew in the tomatoes decomposed soil (Ahsan, 2014). Only
the lima beans that germinated support Sundbald’s idea that the phosphorus
promoted root growth to increase the intake of other nutrients in the soil
critical to plant growth, while the potassium prevented the plant from stunting
as it helps regulates air loss during photosynthesis (Sundblad, n.d.) However,
the tomato group did not have a 100% germination rate as trials 1 and 4 for the
tomato manipulation failed to germinate, and the average height calculation
omitted the failed trials, which means that the present average final height of
lima beans (553.0 mm +/- 272.6 mm) and highest averge rate of growth (19.75
mm/day +/- 2.49 mm/day) that grew in soil with decomposed tomatoes does not
take into account the plants that did not grow which indicates that the tomato
soil may not have been the most ideal condition. The tomatoes lack of 100%
germination rate conflicts with Sundblad’s research as tomatoes release
Magnesium, Phosphorus, and Potassium when they decompose and according to
Sundblad, the phosphorus is critical to seed germination as it promotes root
development (Sundblad, n.d.). Egg shells had one of the worst germination rates
as only 4 of the 6 seeds actually germinated and even then, the final average
height was mediocre with 341.1 mm +/- 188.8 mm. The plants that grew in the
soil with decomposed kelp germinated the latest. This is because not all of the
kelp 100% decomposed which meant that not all of the nutrients that the kelp
contained were entirely releases into the soil during the decomposition process,
limiting the amount of nutrients available the germinating seeds and putting
the kelp manipulation at a considerable disadvantage to the manipulations that
did have all of their organic material decomposed.

The error bars for the average
height of the lima beans per day overlap with each other. For example, the
error bars for the coffee ground soil group and the control group had a
majority of their error bars overlapping, indicating no significant difference
between the two groups since the uncertainty of each average height can be plus
or minus (above or below) the plotted point. The overlapping error bars
indicates that there was a high level of uncertainty regarding the average
height of the lima beans within each manipulation, which indicates that
tomatoes may not necessarily have resulted in an overall increase in growth
rate as there is an uncertainty of +/- 272.6 mm on day 28 which is if it were
to have been -272.6 mm, then the tomatoes would be one of the worst performing
organic material regarding plant height. However, according to graph #1, all of
the manipulations plotted points for average lima bean height per day yielded
high R2 values across all manipulations which shows the strength of
the correlation between the plotted points of each manipulation as it indicates
how closely the plotted points matched the trendline. However, this R2
value does not take into consideration the uncertainty for each point,
indicating that the plotted average heights may not necessarily follow the
trend line as closely as the R2 value suggests, and such a high
uncertainty that overlaps indicates that there may have been no significant
difference between any the manipulations.

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