Characteristics of Duckweed

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May 8, 2013 Period 2

This year in science class we students have observed many organisms. We have learned that a trait of an organism is to grow and develop. Another organism quality being that they can reproduce in several different ways. Organisms are also all made up of cells. A Lemna minor, or duckweed, fits all these characteristics. Duckweed is a tiny aquatic flowering plant that drifts in large colonies in still water.

Lemna minor, like all organisms, can reproduce. In one inquiry, the students were to tend to a small pond that contains duckweed. Within a matter of days, the duckweed multiplied. Duckweed can reproduce in two different ways; one way being sexually through flowers that produce seeds, but more often than not, they reproduce asexually through vegetation growth. Duckweed, like many other plants, can reproduce in more than one way.

Along with reproducing, Lemna minor can grow and develop. We again witnessed this in the simulation ponds. It starts from a frond, the main part of the duckweed. A tiny root hangs from the frond, into the water, for the plant to soak up nutrients. The older fronds on the plant will develop little buds. From these buds, new fronds will grow, breaking through the protective pouches. They will remain and grow on the original frond. The growth rate of duckweed is faster than other aquatic plants and is easily spread and develops in still waters.

Every organism is made up of at least one or more cells, just like Lemna minor is. In another inquiry we conducted this year, we compared the duckweed cells in fresh and salt water. A cell is the basic unit of living matter in all organisms. A plant cell has a cell wall, chloroplast and plastids. These three parts are not found in animal cells but, they are present in the duckweed. Duckweed is no different than any other organism and is made up of cells, more specifically plant cells.

Conclusively, Lemna minor is a flowering plant that belongs...
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