The effect of salt water on Seed Germination

Author(s): Laura Weis
Growth & Development Experiment
SED 695B; Fall 2007

Research Question:

What are the effects of salt concentration on pea germination?


Standards addressed:

2nd grade life science: Students know many characteristics of an organism are inherited from the parents. Some characteristics are caused or influenced by the environment.

Students know light, gravity, touch, or environmental stress can affect the germination, growth, and development of plants.


Students know a vital part of an ecosystem is the stability of its producers and decomposers.

Students know at each link in a food web some energy is stored in newly made structures but much energy is dissipated into the environment as heat. This dissipation may be represented in an energy pyramid.

* Students know how to distinguish between the accommodation of an individual organism to its environment and the gradual adaptation of a lineage of organisms through genetic change.


Scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions and conducting careful investigations. As a basis for understanding this concept and addressing the content in the other four strands, students should develop their own questions and perform investigations.



Independent variable
Dependent variables
Water and Salt concentration Amount and speed of germination Peas in distilled water.

250ppm NaCl solution

500ppm NaCl solution


Pea seeds, petri dishes, Distilled water, 250 ppm NaCl solution, 500ppm NaCl solution, paper towel

- place paper towels in 3 petri dishes

- place 3-4 seeds in each petri dish, on top of the paper towel

-Add distilled water to one dish, 250ppm NaCl solution to one dish, and 500ppm NaCl solution to the third dish.

-label dishes and place in a dark area.

The effect of Salt Concentration on Seed Germination
  DI water 250ppm NaCl 500ppm NaCl
Day 1      
Day 2      

Day 3

Day 4      
Day 5      
Data of average growth verses time
The effect of Salt Concentration on Seed Germination
  DI water 250ppm NaCl 500ppm NaCl
Day 1 0 mm 0 mm 0 mm
Day 2

1 mm

seeds splitting

0 mm 0 mm

Day 3

3 mm 2 mm 0mm seeds splitting
Day 4 6 mm 3 mm 1mm
Day 5 10 mm 6 mm 4 mm
Data of average growth verses time
Graphs of different salt concentrations correlation with seed germination.

References & Links:

Environmental Literacy council

AP Environmental Science