The effect of sun and shade on stomatal density found on Red Oak Leaves.
Stomata are located in the epidermis of the leaf and function as pores to absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, which in turn aids in the process of photosynthesis, moisture control, and temperature control. If a leaf is located in the sun the stomatal density will be greater than a leaf located in a shady area. The leaves in the sun are going to have a greater stomatal density to help control the temperature by evaporative cooling. The leaves in the shade will have a smaller stomatal density due to the lack of exposure to direct sunlight and the decreased need for evaporative cooling. Our hypothesis stated that with everything being equal a Red Oak Leaf located in the direct sunlight should develop a greater stomatal density than a leaf located in the shade because the need for cooling will be less out of the direct sunlight. By collecting 20 leaves, 10 from a sunny environment and 10 from a shady environment, and lifting stomata prints off of each of them, we were then able to observe under a microscope the stomatal density of each leaf. The anticipated results were that the Red Oak Leaves collected would have a higher stomatal density when located in the sun and in turn the shaded leaves would have a lower density.
When preparing for our study we started on Thursday, September 11, 2008 by locating a large Red Oak tree on the Gainesville State College Campus that had a portion of its leaves that are in direct sunlight and a portion that are in the shade. We then collected 10 leaves from each environment. We started by separating the leaves into their respective categories and then cleaning them of any dust or fuzz located on the underside of the leaf where we would be lifting the prints. We then applied a dime sized are of clear fingernail polish to the outer margin of the underside of each leaf allowing the coat to dry before applying a...