Go the project page for the Fossil Atmosphere project (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. on Gingko leafs in the Zooniverse catalog. In this project the researchers are using stomatal density to explore the effect of CO2 and temperature on plants using Gingko biloba as a model organism since it has been around a very long time and there are many fossil leafs as well as modern examples grown all over the world. You could check out stomatal density for some other applications of this technology. For this assignment score 10 or so images and see if you noticed any differences in your data. Do some of the samples have significantly different numbers of stomata relative to other cell types? Do the group around different numbers or are they randomly distributed? If the results page is up check out the results to see what everyone has found.
Now that you know about stomatal density and how to estimate it how could you use it to explore some questions about plants and climate?
Note: If you choose to do this project as part of your classwork you will have make some stomatal impressions (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. and observe them under a microscope. If you do not have access to a scope you can purchase a Foldscope (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. for about $25. If you are a DIY science in the home geek this project is for you!
What do I turn in?
1. A summary of the data of the ten images you scored. You could keep track of stomatal density, the ratio of stomata to regular cells, or the count of stomata on the samples for now.
2. 3 questions you could answer using stomatal density measures. These do not have to involve Ginkgos, it could be comparing leafs of the any species in a garden and in Nature or on different slopes or even in different latitudes. If you have access to Ginkgo leafs you could however compare your local data to those on this project.
3. An hypothesis that is testable using this technology.
4. A brief sampling design you would carry out to test your hypothesis