1 Population and Community Ecology, Butler University, Indianapolis, Indiana 46208, USA
For this experiment, we set out to find if density and time had an effect on growth of mung bean plants. We decided to test evidence of growth by measuring plant biomass. We measured the biomass each week for four weeks of plants grown at different densities. We found that density had an overall effect on plant growth, but density only had an effect after the first two weeks of growth.
Successful growth of plants has been important ever since agriculture began playing a part in human survival. Understanding what facilitates or inhibits growth of these types of plants can provide information on how to better grow them. For example, factors such as disease, climate, density, or competition can cause facilitation or inhibition of growth. For this article we focus on how density might affect plant growth. Density is one of the biggest factors farmers must deal with when planting a crop to ensure maximum production (Sangoi, 2001). More specifically, this can be seen in corn. In this case density can effect growth and development, nutritional output, and overall structure of the plant (Casal, 1985). Observing the effect of density in mung bean plants (Vigna radiata) allows the effect to be seen occurring in dicot plant, rather than a monocot plant such as corn. Mung bean is most commonly used as a food source for the sprouts they produce. When grown as a crop, these plants can grow anywhere between twenty four and thirty inches tall, and they can flower after about fifty days (Myers, 2000). Based upon previous research on plant density affecting growth, mung beans should also be affected when grown in higher densities. In this experiment we attempted to determine the effect that density and time have on the growth of mung bean plants.
Cited: Casal, J.J., Deregibus, V.A., and R.A. Sanchez. 1985. Variations in tiller dynamics and morphology in Lolium multiflorum Lam. vegetative and reproductive plants as affected by differences in red/far-red irradiation. Annals of Botany 56:553-559. Myers, R.L. 2000. Mungbeans: A food legume adapted to hot, dry conditions. Jefferson Institute. http://www.jeffersoninstitute.org/pubs/mung_beans_guide.pdf Sangoi, L