In this experiment, the effect of climate change on Brassica Rapa will be tested. The Brassica Rapa plant is a member of the cruciferae family, or mustard family. The flowers on the plant are in the shape of a cross, which is why it is named crucifer (CFIA 2014). The brassica varieties are important to the canola industry, for they contain less fiber and more oil and protein than traditional canola (Stringam et al. 1974). These characteristics are vital for canola to be more competitive in the oil industry (Bell 1993).
Brassica species also show their use and importance in that they have been developed accordingly, based on their conditions, for a higher yield and to lessen chlorophyll content in the seeds (Rakow & Raney 1993). The purpose of this study is to see the effect that climate change has on the Brassica Rapa plants. Climate change is a pressing issue, which is caused by emissions of greenhouse gases (Houghton et al. 1995, 1996). In the mid 1990s, it was predicted that due to climate change, the global temperature would rise by 1. 0 to 3. degrees Celsius within the next century (Houghton et al. 1995, 1996).
However, even though the average global temperature increases, the temperature in some parts of the world is expected to drop (Houghton et al. 1995, 1996). These changes in global temperatures are predicted to have a drastic impact on plants. An increase in temperature will cause plants living in lower temperature climates to increase photosynthetic activity; whereas, plants living in higher temperature climates will decrease photosynthetic activity (Larcher 1995).
With this information it can be predicted that the Brassica Rapa will be at its lowest productivity when kept at 18 and 30 degrees Celsius, and at its highest productivity at 22 and 26 degrees Celsius. Methods and Materials: For this experiment Brassica Rapa, or Wisconsin Fast Plants, are used to test the effect of climate change on canola. The dependent variable is the Brassica Rapa and it is depending on the temperature. Before the experiment took place, all plants were in 22 degrees Celsius for three weeks to grow to the preferred maturity.
They were then taken out and pollinated. After pollination the plants were set in separate temperatures to mature for another two weeks. After the two weeks were over, the plants were taken out of their temperatures and soil to determine maturity and productivity. To do so, the plants were weighed, the length was measured, the pods were counted, and the amounts of mature seeds were counted as well.
Results: Figure 1. 0 shows the average amount of open flowers for the plants being kept in each temperature and the standard error. Figure 2. shows the average height of the plants being kept in each temperature and the standard error. Figure 3. 0 shows the average weight of the plants being kept in each temperature and the standard error. Figure 4. 0 shows the average amount of mature seeds in the plants kept at each temperature and the standard error. Figure 5. 0 shows the amount of mature seedpods in the plants kept at each temperature and the standard error. These results show some prevailing trends, figure 1. 0 shows the mean amount of open flowers for the different temperatures.
The plants held at 18 degrees had significantly more open flowers than those at 22 and 26 degrees Celsius, and the plants held at 30 degrees had significantly less flowers than the other plants. These observations show that when the temperature was lower, the flowers had not yet turned into pods, whereas the vast majority of flowers were no longer on the 30-degree plants. However, when looking at figure 5. 0, the number of seed pods on the plants held in 18 and 30 degrees were fewer than those in 22 and 26 degrees.
This trend is also visible in figure 4. 0 where it can be seen that the amount of mature seeds in the average temperature plants are higher than those in the high and low temperatures. Figure 3. 0 shows the weight of the plants, indicating that on average, the plants in higher temperatures had a lower weight, and plants in lower temperatures had a higher weight. Figure 2. 0 shows that the height of the plants is relatively staggered; however, the plants in 30 degrees were slightly taller than the rest.
Discussion: Figures 1. and 5. 0 show trends that indicate a lack of maturity for the plants at 18 degrees and excessive heat exposure for the plants at 30 degrees. When observing figure 1. 0, the Brassica Rapa is clearly not yet mature as the plants have the most amount of open flowers at 18 degrees Celsius. This graph also shows that the plants at 30 degrees Celsius did not have any open flowers, which would normally be assumed that the flowers matured into seedpods. However, figure 5. 0 show that the assumptions made for figure 1. 0 are incorrect.
The amounts of seedpods for the plants in 18 degrees are lower than those in 22 degrees and 26 degrees, but higher than the plants in 30 degrees. The lack of pods and large amount of flowers that the plants in 18 degrees had indicates that they matured at a slower rate than the other plants. The lack of open flowers and seedpods that the plants in 30 degrees had indicate that the plants suffered from heat blast (N. G. Rumpel, personal communication, October 3, 2015). Heat blast occurs when canola is in its flowering stage or just passed, the plant gets so hot that the petals fall off and the flower aborts.
With these results the hypothesis of highest productivity at 22 and 26 degrees, and lowest productivity at 18 and 30 degrees is accepted. With climate change being an increase or decrease in temperature, canola crops in Canada will need to be altered for the climate. If the canola is not adjusted, the yields that are currently being achieved will not be achievable, as the crop is not as productive in cooler or warmer temperature than current. The crop will not become rare, but will instead have to adapt in order to continue to be successful.