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An Experiment to Investigate Species Diversity at West Runton Beach.

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Introduction

An Experiment to Investigate Species Diversity at West Runton Beach Aim For this investigation, I am aiming to investigate the species diversity at West Runton Beach. The aim is to research the distributions of substrates, plant life and other organisms, comparing them with each other and relating it to the tidal zonation. This will hopefully show us how each factor of the environment affects the others. The experiment will be a line transect using a quadrant down to parts of the beach; from the shore to the other end; by a groyne and down the middle. I hope also to see how this affects the ecology of the investigated areas. Objectives The objective of this experiment is to see how different factors of environments at this particular beach affect other factors. I intend to learn and gain a broader understanding about niches: which biotic and abiotic factors prefer which conditions. I also intend to see how the populations are structured. Apparatus In order to carry out this experiment we will need the following equipment: One metre squared quadrant A tape measure Pen and paper with clipboard Walking boots or Wellington boots Method To carry out this experiment I will need to maintain the following instructions: 1. We will do the following by the groyne and down the middle of the beach 2. I will gather all my equipment and make sure everything is prepared by wearing appropriate shoes for the rocky and wet ground and preparing a suitable table to record my results in an easily understandable form 3. ...read more.

Middle

Therefore, the green seaweed that should also be found should be more common on the chalk substrate. I predict that there would be more of the animals that prefer less water, like crabs, on the upper shore, while there would be fish found occasionally on the lower shore since they need less oxygen due to their gills. Limpets, I know and can say will have thicker shells on the upper shore and thinner shells on the lower shore. They have these adaptations for the sake of preventing desiccation. Results The results I have found have been processed into tables and graphs on separate pieces of paper. Analysis The results we have gathered contain many identifiable trends. These include the locations and coverage of the substrates, seaweed and wildlife. First I will examine the results down the middle of the beach Middle of the beach transect Seaweed 1. Starting from the top of the graph, we can see serrated wrack has no clear pattern but could assume that it is usually found in the presence of flint, as there is a slight similarity in the positioning of both. It is spread throughout the entire transect, although sparse 2. The sea lettuce is found only in the lower tide meaning it prefers to be under water often. It seems to be coinciding with chalk 3. The bladder wrack population, like the serrated wrack, is ideally suited to the conditions that consist of flint. ...read more.

Conclusion

Evaluation The procedure I carried out was successful due to many reasons. The planning was very well considered and the preliminary work helped a great deal to improve the efficiency of my final experiment. The results I gathered, although accurate could have been improved upon. To do so, I could have repeated the experiment over and over, identifying anomalies and improving accuracy each time. It would help find a more accurate mean results table. One problem with the transects I made with the quadrant were that they were quite inaccurate due to the thin line that we actually measured. This left great margin for error. Since the line was so thin, I could have measured a unique, abnormal set of results that did not match the true nature of the beach's ecology. I could have measured a much larger area by doing, for example, a transect along the beach that was 10 metres wide. This would account for a more accurate experiment. An anomaly I encountered was within the wildlife of the transects. The crabs in particular were quite anomalous since only one was found but outside the transect I found quite a few crabs. Due to all of the above, although the evidence is very reliable, it could be improved a lot through repetition. To be as accurate as possible, all the suggestions above would need to be taken in to account. To further improve the experiment, I would do other transects at different parts of the beach, which encompass different biotic and abiotic factors. ...read more.

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