The Use Of Stinging Nettle Biology Essay

This study aims to place and discourse in item the assorted ways that nettle can be utilised as a preservation tool by reexamining and measuring bing literature on this topic. The common stinging nettle ( Urtica dioica L. ) ( nettle ) is a nitrophilous ruderal species, distributed across Europe from the Arctic periphery to the Mediterranean up to an height of 2500m, often colonizing extremely disturbed and alimentary enriched land. Sympodial growing of rootstocks and runners with nodal rooting and aerial shoots making ~1.5m when mature with post-anthesis nodal ramification. Unifoliate, coarsely serrated, lanceolate, acuminate foliages covered by hairs and biting trichomes on both the ventral and dorsal surfaces with a net-like vascular system typical of magnoliopsids. Trichomes are silica tubings with a bulblike tip which fractures under force per unit area go forthing a crisp needle-like point. The base of the trichomes contain toxins including formic acid, histamine and acetycholine which cause annoyance, swelling and inflammation to clamber. Dioica comes from the Latin word ‘dioecious ‘ which translates as ‘two houses ‘ and is thought to mention to the presence of individual sex workss. Male workss have four patent, dumbly clustered blossomings per node, incorporating 4s stamens which leptokurtically release pollen upon blossoming. Female workss besides have four blossomings per node but these are more pendant than male workss and the flowers contain a individual pistel and achene. Both pollen and seeds can be dispersed by air current although seeds have a hairy calyx which allows transit by mammalian vectors. Nettle seeds need direct sunshine to originate sprouting which histories for their association with disturbed land. Nettle demonstrates a high degree of phenotypic malleability and varies greatly in tallness, leaf size and form and trichome denseness. Herbivory by mammals increases the denseness of biting trichomes which efficaciously deters most mammalian herbivores. However spineless herbivores appear to be unaffected by the trichomes and herbivory by them appears to hold no consequence on trichome denseness.

Nettle has historically been cultivated for fiber, medicative and culinary usage and is presently doing a rejoinder in scientific research with a possible part to HIV intervention, GM harvests and sustainable fiber complexs.

Discussion ( 1000 )

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Evaluation and critical assessment of the literature ( 750 ) .

Nettle provides shelter and nutrient for a scope of invertebrates including many specializer species which are more or less confined to nettles such as Apion urticarium. The copiousness of invertebrate quarry species found on nettle encouragements marauding invertebrate populations which organic nurserymans and husbandmans find good in commanding pest species such as aphids.

The degree of spineless zoologies associated with nettle provides good forage for insectivorous birds and due to the copiousness of fruits on female nettle workss besides provide a good beginning of seeds for granivorous birds.

Bases of nettle have good buffering qualities due to its high consumption of foods, peculiarly nitrate, from the dirt.

However, nettle in some alimentary rich countries can besides hold a negative consequence on biodiversity due to its competitory ability. Where foods allow, nettle can rapidly set up into thick monospecific bases.

One solution to the competitory advantage of nettles is to reap them. Many husbandmans presently mow nettles, peculiarly where they impinge upon public rights of manner, and leave the film editings in topographic point which consequences in the foods being returned to the dirt. By taking the film editings the alimentary content of the dirt will drop which could when used as a preservation tool aid the remotion of foods from sensitive countries or aid with Restoration of countries damaged by agricultural applications of fertilizer such as wildflower/hay hayfields.

An added benefit of reaping nettle is the possibility of using the harvest as a beginning of biofuel, medicative infusion for usage on a scope of species ( apiary ) , [ DNA infusion for GM harvests imputing anti-fungal belongingss to harvest workss therefore cut downing the demand for antifungals ] , a green compost or as a compost infusion.

Compost extracts show high potency to increase harvest outputs by increasing nitrate consumption by workss which besides has the added benefit of cut downing eutrophication due to less leaching from the dirt and could besides cut down trust of man-made fertilizers derived from fossil fuels.

Literature spread, hypothesis and proposal ( 250 ) .

There has been some successful research into the usage of compost infusions as a addendum to fertiliser that has shown outputs can be increased. Some surveies go on to propose that food leaching taking to eutrophication can besides be curtailed and the application of fertilizer with its associated cost reduced. However most surveies have failed to detail the contents of the compost and although some have identified the alimentary content of the infusion none have considered pull stringsing the ingredients in order to increase this. Therefore it would be advantageous to prove the hypothesis that a compost extract addendum from a species with high nitrate content, such as nettle, can when combined with 80 % application of conventional fertiliser addition outputs beyond those of harvests with a maximal application of conventional fertilizer.

To prove this hypothesis it is suggested that a nursery trial be carried out to compare untreated wheat ( control ) with wheat treated with the maximal dosage of conventional fertilizer and wheat treated with 80 % of the maximal dosage of conventional fertilizer supplemented with nettle compost infusion. Growth rates ( sward tallness per twenty-four hours ) , figure and weight of grains, root length and dry weight and entire dry weight of all biomass will all be measured and compared to determine the effects of the intervention upon the topics. The three separate interventions need to be housed, but isolated, within the same greenhouse/poly tunnel to guarantee consistence of abiotic factors and reproduction ( figure of pots ) , substrate and H2O handiness should all be standardised.

Conclusion ( 500 )

If carefully managed nettle can help preservation through direct and indirect effects on ecosystems. However, due to anthropogenically-enhanced dirt food content in many countries nettles can, without intercession, cut down biodiversity as a consequence of its competitory adavantage. Possible preservation tool usage: sponge to wipe up up inordinate dirt foods / buffer zone between agricultural land and sensitive countries / renewable beginning of biofuel / sustainable organic medical specialty ( apiary ) / nitrate rich green compost / compost infusion.

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