Grand Award

Second Place

Sponsored Awards

Marilyn's Golden Roadrunner Award of Excellence for Curiosity and Wonder in Animal and Plant Science Research, Environmental Awareness Award - Honorable Mention, First Prize, Saguaro Steward

Photosynthetic Differences Between Saguaros in Natural and Urban Environments

Plant Science
Cailinn Allen

Chandra Mitnik

I hypothesize that the rate of photosynthesis of natural environment Saguaros will be significantly higher than their urban counterparts because natural landscapes allow for larger root sprawl, and occupy less polluted areas. Lower rates of photosynthesis from urban Saguaros will show that they are more vulnerable because of concrete environments and lower air quality. I took samples of mature urban (city environment) and natural (reservation environment) Saguaros’ pleated epidermis and tested their rates of photosynthesis and compared rates to illustrate a Cacti’s efficiency at creating energy and oxygen. My hypothesis was correct - ha:sañ (Saguaros) in natural environments have significantly higher rates of photosynthesis and are therefore healthier. My data will help our understanding of a Saguaro’s environment and how we can support them through the multitudes of dangers they face through climate change

Project presentation

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Research paper

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2 thoughts on “Photosynthetic Differences Between Saguaros in Natural and Urban Environments

  1. Absolutely well done! This was extremely well written, thoughtful, and showed a lot of understanding of the cyclical impacts of environmental studies.

    It was extremely refreshing to see concise and straight to the point data, claims, and overall presentation style. Being more conscious of the impacts of urban versus rural plant development plays a vital role in the impacts of the biogeochemical cycle, environmental studies (e.g., green infrastructure), and plant sciences on multiple fronts locally, nationally, and globally. This type of self-awareness and thought processes are necessary foundational characteristics if you wish you pursue a rigorous career.

  2. Outstanding! I love how your research question was focused on the local environment and impacts to the landscape and the community. Excellent work!

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