The Effect Of Crude Oil On The Soil Of A Growing Brassica Rapa Plant

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Minimal Amounts of Crude Oil in Soil Beneficial to Growth of Brassica rapa Plant

Savanna Roberts and Will Vogel

Biology Department
Birmingham-Southern College

This study focused on the affects of crude oil in the soil of a growing Brassica rapa plant. Different variations of concentration of crude oil in the soil were used, as well as soil without crude oil, and a soil with an unknown concentration of crude oil. The study took place in a greenhouse in the science department of Birmingham-Southern college. The plants were monitored and measured for a total of 21 days. Over the span of the 21 days, obvious differences were noted in the growth of the different plants. In the end, plants with 20% crude oil or less were the most successful plants in growth—5% crude oil with the highest mean plant growth of 47.81 mm—leading to the conclusion that a little amount of crude oil in the soil, to an extent, was beneficial to the Brassica rapa plants’ growth.

Introduction Since the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in the past few years, causing the contamination of many plants, it has become necessary to study the effects of crude oil on the growth of plants. Oil in the soil of plants can affect the growth and renewal of plants, which can affect ecosystems on a larger scale (Chima and Vure 2014). Petroleum pollutants can have a negative affect on plants’ ability to perform necessary actions in order to sustain life and growth (Baruah et al 2014).

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