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Humans have not affected the sand dune ecosystem on the North Norfolk Coast.

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Introduction

Contents Introduction... Page 2 Chapter 1... Page 5 Chapter 2... Page 8 Chapter 3... Page 16 Chapter 4/ Conclusion... Page 21 Hypothesis: Humans have not affected the sand dune ecosystem on the North Norfolk Coast Introduction The purpose of my investigation is to discover if the humans have had an impact on the North Norfolk Dunes. I have chosen this site as it is a well established dune ecosystem. An estimated 9% of the English coastline has a dune ecosystem on it, as the UK population is around 58 million people they can be a lot of human impact inflicted upon them. The North Norfolk sand dunes are within two hours of three major conurbations like London, Nottingham and Birmingham. It will be an estimated two hour bus journey from me. Whilst at North Norfolk I will be doing various studies for example: * % Vegetation cover * % Bare sand or soil * No. of species * Ph level * Infiltration rate * Soil colour To measure vegetation cover and the percentage of bare sand or soil I will simply place the quaderat down and see what you can see within it. From this I will also be able to determine the number of species that exist there. To measure the Ph level I will take a probe and place it in the ground, from this I will get an accurate reading from the sand/soil. To measure the infiltration rate I will take an infiltration cylinder and place it in the ground I will then pour approximately two inches of water in and time the rate of infiltration. Finally to determine the soil colour I will take a small sample from each site and place it in a clear, sealed bag. In addition I will use a colour coding kit to discover the actual colour. To achieve this will be using a quadrat to determine what plant life exists (if any) ...read more.

Middle

However at the start of the dune there was still 60% bare sand. At this stage no soil was visible. The Ph level was still averaging at about six which is very slightly acidic. In this area the infiltration rate was a lot quicker, it was around 8 - 10 seconds and the sand was a golden brown colour. The final sampling was actually in the climax community; this area was 120 metres away from the embryo dunes and was the final stage of my samplings. This area shown a huge difference, in here there was a 100% vegetation cover and several numbers of species including Scots pine, moss, plants, spiders and small birds. In addition I found the Ph level to be slightly higher, it was around 7.5 which shows it to be alkaline, because of all the plant life and moss the infiltration rate was very slow, it took around 41 seconds for the water to filter through the cylinder. All my results I have retrieved agree with Sue Warn's theory and therefore proves this area was a well established sand dune area. Here are my bi-polar results for his area Litter 1 2 3 4 5 No litter Trampling 1 2 3 4 5 No trampling Buildings 1 2 3 4 5 No buildings Fences 1 2 3 4 5 No fences Litter bins 1 2 3 4 5 No litter bins Beach management 1 2 3 4 5 No beach management Sea defences 1 2 3 4 5 No sea defences A low score would represent a lot of human impact while a higher score means less human impact. In total, I gave this site 28/35. This basically means that there was very little human impact. There was very little litter and there were no buildings, fences, litter bins and sea defences. There was a lot of beach management with the pine trees being planted. ...read more.

Conclusion

I then used these figures to produce a bar chart. This clearly shows that slightly more people visit the North Norfolk dunes later on during the day. To make these results more accurate and reliable, I could have counted the number of cars at a few more times in the day. I could have also spaced the times out a bit more. Below is a graph to show this. Conclusion When I visited Wells-Next-The-Sea in North Norfolk, my aim was to either prove or disprove the hypothesis of: Humans have not affected the sand dune ecosystem on the North Norfolk Coast After I looked at the evidence I collected, it was very clear that the hypothesis was wrong. There was a lot of human impact, which prevented the sand dunes from naturally completing its natural succession. This was apparent in all three sites however site 3 for example had been affected more compared to site 1 which was only slightly affected by humans. From looking back on the bi-polar results from all 3 sites, I noticed that generally the scores were lower on site 3. Because a lower score means more human impact, this indicates that there was most human impact. A majority of site 1's scores were at the top end of the graph. Site 1 received high scores for no litter, no buildings, no sea defences, no fences and no litterbins. It received low scores for trampling and beach management. Likewise, site 2's scores were situated around the middle of the graph. It received a low score for no trampling and no beach management. It received a high score for no litterbins but received a mid-score of 3 for: * Buildings * Fences * Sea defences Site 3 received low scores for beach management, sea defences, fences and trampling. Site 3 received mid-scores for litter, buildings and litterbins. The total scores for each site is shown below: Site Total score 1 27 2 21 3 15 Matthew Branston 1 ...read more.

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