Biology Matters

Biology Matters

In this module:

  1. Food security: Wheat challenge

Food security: Wheat challenge

Food Security 01 (introduction):

An introduction into the wider aspects of Food Security and some possible issues and practical ideas.

Food Security 02 (cereal variation part 1):

A sort of model for the evolution of modern day cereals from grasses. Looking at wheat, barley and oats. Compare the variation in grasses and our cereals. It is very easy to grow cereals. Notice similarities and differences.

Food Security 03 (cereal variation part 2):

Looking at wheat plant structure and potential investigation into biomass. To repeat, it is so easy to grow for yourself.

Food Security 04 (wheat seeds):

Wheat seed heads to construct a ‘living bar chart’ to show variation. Leading to discussions of biotic and abiotic growing conditions.

Food Security 05 (wheat seeds part 2):

Wheat seed bar chart. Noticing the spread of sizes. What is the useful biomass?

Food Security 06 (wheat and chaff):

Separating the ‘wheat from the chaff’. Obtaining the useful grain biomass.

Food Security 07 (wheat biomass):

Obtaining the biomass of the wheat grains, chaff, stalk etc. A possible opportunity to practice maths skills with real data.

Food Security 08 (Bread Wheat Challenge):

The Bread Wheat Challenge. Trying to estimate the area of land needed to become self-sufficient in growing enough wheat for bread. Use the guide to look at the calculations. There are many areas of discussion!

Food Security 09 (rising sea levels):

Food security and global warming. Applied osmosis in saline conditions from rising sea levels. Germination in different salt solutions. An opportunity to look at ‘real selective breeding’.

Food Security 10 (bean biomass):

Using Broad bean plants to explore the component dry biomass of roots, shoots, leaves and seeds. Drying to a constant mass. Calculate the percentage efficiency of the plant in terms of the useful biomass of seeds (i.e. the crop) from the whole plant. Ideas for using the so called waste biomass.

Food Security 11 (seed banks):

The need for seed banks for food security and maintaining biodiversity. Seed viability decreases with age.

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