The Importance Of Aerobic Life On Earth Essay

1883 Words Dec 9th, 2016 8 Pages
Aerobic life on earth is only possible thanks to the oxygen produced by the cellular respiration of plants and other photosynthetic organisms. This crucial service was recently demonstrated in a 2012 study by Martin et al. titled A paradigm of fragile Earth in Priestley’s bell jar. The experiment was based off of Priestley’s now famous bell jar experiment where Priestley first placed a mouse in a sealed jar without plant life, leading to the mouse’s eventual asphyxiation, and placed another mouse in a sealed jar this time with the addition of mint sprigs. This second mouse survived unscathed and in an effort to replicate this experiment on a large scale Martin et al.’s study focused on keeping a healthy 47-year old man in a small, well-lit, and sealed greenhouse filled with a variety of plants for 48 hours. Their experiment was a success and the oxygen content in the greenhouse actually rose from a deliberately reduced initial concentration of 12.4 % O2 to an 18.1 % concentration more representative of our atmosphere.

In our study we sought to compare the oxygen output of three different types of photosynthetic organisms, a strain of pea plant, a lichen, and an Elodea sp. to find which species yielded the most oxygen per gram of mass. We hope that the information acquired in our study can be used in a similar way to Martin et al.’s study and hope it will be of especial service those seeking to transport or keep aerobic organisms in confined spaces,…
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