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What do leaves do in plant life?
 
Studying Stomata
Materials you will need:

• Vine Leaf
• Clear Nail Polish
• Clear Tape
• Microscope Slide & Cover (optional)
• Tweezers
• Microscope
•Hand held magnifying glass

Does a leaf breath?

 
Steps

1.  Clip or pinch off a plant leaf.  Vine leaves work really well in this experiment.

2.  On the underside of the leaf (bottom/non-shiny side) paint on a couple of strokes of clear nail polish and leave to dry. An alternative is to fold the leaf in half and then tear the leaf across this bend and try to peel off the thin layer of clear skin.

3.  Once the nail polish has had time to dry, use the tweezer to peel the layer of nail polish from the leaf and place it on the microscope slide and place the cover on top.

4.  Place the slide under a microscope or a magnifying glass and have a good look.  

Can you see any circular holes?  If so these are the stomata.  If you don't see any stomata find a different leaf and follow the above steps again. 

                       

Sometimes you can just look at the actual leaf under the microscope and actually see the stomata very well.  Give it a go!

Stomata are pores on the under layer of a leaf which are used for gas exchange in plants.  Carbon dioxide is taken into the plant to be used in photosynthesis, while oxygen and water vapor  (through transpiration) escape from the stomata.

 
 
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