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Pond Ecology Study

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Introduction

BIOLOGY COURSEWORK: POND ECOLOGY STUDY INTRODUCTION: This experiment was made to investigate the animals that live in the ecosystem of a pond. Mainly looking at the distribution and abundance of the animals and the possible explanations behind. Although many animals were studied we focused on three animals that would give a good idea of the distribution and the reasons for their distribution as one was taken from each of the three trophic levels of the pond. The Water hoglouse was chosen as it is a detritivore, which means it, only feeds on dead matter such as plant and animal remains. By studying this creature it will give us some idea of the distribution of most detritivores in a pond ecosystem. (D) The Mayfly Nymph is a herbivore, and a primary consumer. It is different although on the same kind of trophic level as the detritivores. This animals will give us an idea of the behaviour of herbivores in the pond. (C1) The Damselfly nymph is a carnivore and is a secondary consumer. This should give us an idea of the abundance and distribution of secondary consumers in the pond. ...read more.

Middle

From the bar graph we saw the distributions of the animals. This is explained in the analysis section. The graph included total numbers of animals along with the totals from each area of the pond. The distribution shown by the graph is due to the animal's way of survival. Which trophic level they belong to (primary of secondary consumers) and therefore what they eat (plants, dead matter, other animals). From the first pyramid, the pyramid of numbers it shows the totals of all the primary consumers (on the bottom due to them being lower down the food chain) and the secondary consumers (on the top). The graph shows that there were more primary consumers than secondary consumers as the bottom level is bigger than the top. This pyramid was made from the class results we merged. The totals of every primary and secondary consumer were added up into two groups. These results are similar to what we predicted. This does not show very realistic results as I am sure that there should have been far more primary consumers compared to the secondary to give the amount of biomass needed to supply the secondary consumers with enough energy. ...read more.

Conclusion

The results of the graph generally didn't agree with my predictions. I predicted that most hoglice would be found at the bottom of the pond because they feed on dead matter, which would sink to the bottom, but more were found in the middle area. I also predicted that most damselfly nymphs would be found at the top because they feed on other animals and there would be lots of easy prey on the surface. The results agreed to an extent with my prediction in the fact that there were more at the top than in the bottom, but most were in the middle. I predicted that most mayfly nymphs would be found in the middle because they are herbivores and there would be plants in the middle. My prediction matched the results. I predicted there to be more primary consumers than secondary consumers. The results agreed but not that much I expected there to be much more of a difference between the totals. I predicted that the biomasses of the secondary and primary consumers would be about equal. My results did not confirm this. The pyramid I drew showed a huge mass of secondary consumers compared to the biomass of the primary consumers. Often my prediction didn't match the results I think because they weren't counted well enough. ...read more.

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