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How does the percentage of bare earth (and therefore the percentage of earth covered by vegetation) vary moving inland from the high tide level?

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Introduction

Geography Coursework Question How does the percentage of bare earth (and therefore the percentage of earth covered by vegetation) vary moving inland from the high tide level? Hypothesis With movement inland from the high tide level, I expect percentage bare earth to decrease, due to more species of vegetation being able to survive, so this will result in less earth being left bare. This is due to the change in conditions affecting both type and quantity of vegetation present change. Figure 1 is a table to summarise these changes. Figure 1 Condition Change with Reason Movement Inland Near the sea, shells made of calcium carbonate pH Decreases create alkali conditions. Inland there are less shells so pH decreases. Moisture Increases Water is less salty inland so has higher water Availability potential so plants can take up water more easily. Strength Decreases Strong winds blow inland from the sea, so with of wind movement away from high tide level, strength of wind decreases. Decreased strength of wind, higher moisture Soil Quality Increases availability, and less acidity means more humus can accumulate and soil can develop better. ...read more.

Middle

60 10 5 5 80 90 100 110 120 130 140 150 0 0 0 0 50 0 0 0 The data in blue is what I expect to an anomaly. Graph of Group 1 Data This graph shows that the general trend as distance from high tide level increases, is for percentage bare earth to decrease. My line of best fit goes through most points, however the point at 120m, as expected is anomalous, as it is very far away from the expected value for percentage bare earth here. The Spearman's rank correlation shows a strong negative correlation, as when excluding the anomaly, the result is -0.83. The means I can accept the hypothesis that a relationship between bare earth/% and distance away inland from high tide level exists- as distance increases, percentage bare earth decreases. I have decided to include data from another group, as this will help in seeing see the accuracy, consistency and therefore reliability of results, thus allowing me to draw a conclusion and evaluate my investigation. ...read more.

Conclusion

Despite one anomaly, I can consider the results for this sand dune reliable, as the Spearman's rank correlation result was close to -1. However I will now try to explain the anomalies found: For both sets of data, the main anomaly was for the measurement taken at 120/128 m from the high tide level, and this suggests that as the anomaly occurred at the same distance for both groups, perhaps there is a foot path at this distance which therefore accounts for the sudden increase in percentage bare earth (there will be less vegetation on the footpath, so more bare earth) Possible Errors: 1. Human misjudgment, applicable due to unpredictable weather conditions, inability to communicate easily with other members of group, and difficulty in using equipment accurately, due to rain. 2. Certain slacks were moister than normal, so different species were present than was expected, so this may account for the vegetation not being as expected, as this would affect percentage bare earth. 3. Some areas were more sheltered from the wind etc than others, so these areas may allow greater growth of vegetation than other areas. These areas appeared to be quite random and unexplainable. Photo to show technique used to calculate gradient of the land. 1 ...read more.

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