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Seedling Growth of Wisconsin Fast Plants (Brassica rapa) in Field Environments

In this Experiment, students investigate the effects of ecological factors on the growth of Wisconsin Fast Plants, also known as rapid-cycling brassica (Brassica rapa L.). Treatments could include light, wind, herbivory, fertilizer, or insecticides. Variables to be measured could include growth (height, number of leaves, leaf area) or reproduction (number of flowers). Wisconsin Fast Plants have been bred to complete their life cycle in approximately 1 month. Unlike most experiments using Fast Plants, this one describes an investigation conducted in a field setting.
Associated files
Resource Group TIEE
Resource Group Link
Primary or BEN resource type
Discipline Specific Core Concepts
Life science discipline (subject)
Keywords plant; physiology; ecophysiology; experiment; experimental design; abiotic; biotic; growth; reproduction; field experiment; TIEE; pedagogy
Key taxa Brassica rapa; fast plant; rapid cycling brassica; mustard; Brassicaceae
Intended End User Role
Educational Language
Pedagogical Use Category
Pedagogical Use Description Students develop a hypothesis and test it using the scientific method in a field setting. Students work in pairs to design and carry out an experiment using previously prepared Wisconsin Fast Plant seedlings. One week later, students harvest their plants during a return field trip after which they collect their data, write individual scientific reports, and present their findings in class. This experiment is unique because Wisconsin Fast Plants are used in a field experiment instead of the usual laboratory setting.
Aggregation Level
Full Name of Primary Author Beth Burke
Primary Author Controlled Name
Primary Author Affiliation Missouri Department of Conservation, Open Rivers and Wetlands Field Station

Southern Illinois University, Dept. of Zoology

Southern Illinois University, Dept. of Plant Biology

U.S. Geological Survey, National Wetlands Research Center
Primary Author email
Added By Id
  • educationintern
Rights Copyright 2004 by Valerie A. Barko, Beth A. Burke, David J. Gibson, Beth A. Middleton, and the Ecological Society of America.
Review type
Drought and Water Ecosystem Services Collection Off
Conservation Targets Under Global Change Collection Off
Big Data Collection Off
Editors Choice No
Resource Status
Date Of Record Submission 2007-12-26
I Agree to EcoEdDL's Copyright Policy & Terms of Use No
Date Of Record Release 2010-02-16 01:24:27
Last Modified By Id
  • educationintern
Date Last Modified 2018-07-18 11:11:55
Release Flag Published

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