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Mullaghmore Sand Dune Fieldwork

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Introduction

Mullaghmore Sand Dune Fieldwork Mullaghmore is situated in County Sligo and Bunduff Strand. Just to the south is Bunduff Lough and to the west is coniferous woodland. Mullaghmore is a peninsula with two beaches, a rocky headland which has a castle on the top, a marsh with sand bottomed freshwater lake. There is extensive low lying flat grassland influenced by sand blown in from the beach, which in the summer has an abundance of orchids and a very large area of wooded dunes. Large areas have a Special Area of Conservation protection. However in the 1990's, the farming practices approached this area and illegally flattened the land to make it easier for farming. The spreading of slurry has affected the natural flora and fauna, trees have been removed and the dunes. The dunes are also coming under attack from tourism development and other activities. Coastal sand dunes in Ireland and Britain may date back to as long ago as the last glaciations. If sand that forms the dunes contains shells of marine organisms the dunes are alkaline. If there are few or no shells in the sand then the dunes become acidic. The conditions needed are a large dry reservoir of sand and a large tidal range to expose the sand, allowing it to dry sufficiently to become available for transport, and strong prevailing onshore winds. The sand must be dry and fine and lots of it is needed for the formation of sand dunes. At least 4.5metres/second of wind are needed to be blowing onshore to provide the dunes with enough sand. The vegetation present helps to stabilise the sand and to trap more sand. ...read more.

Middle

[{W6/W5} x 100] * Using a salinity meter, measure the soils TDS * Using a pH meter, measure the pH of each soil sample. * Collect all the data together and place in a suitable table of results. Results - Spearman's rank to show the relationship between the percentage of water in the soil and the distance from the sea. N % of water Rank Distance from sea (m) Rank Difference between a and b d� 1 5.4 6 1 1 5 25 2 5 5 2 2 2 9 3 4.1 3.5 3 3 0.5 0.25 4 4.1 3.5 4 4 -0.5 0.25 5 6.6 8 5 5 3 9 6 2.5 2 6 6 -4 16 7 23.2 16 7 7 9 81 8 11.7 11 8 8 3 9 9 5.6 7 9 9 -2 4 10 19.8 15 10 10 5 15 11 16.9 13 11 11 2 4 12 8.4 10 12 12 -2 4 13 8.3 9 13 13 -4 16 14 1.9 1 14 14 -13 169 15 11.9 12 15 15 -3 9 16 17.8 14 16 16 -2 4 TOTAL 384.5 r = 1 - 6 x ?d� n� - n r = 0.435 Spearman's Rank - 95% = 0.4294 Yellow Grey Dune slack TOTAL Marram 60 27.8 37.3 36 60.4 0.9 6 13.9 7.9 102 Ragwort 5 4.9 0.002 11 10.7 0.01 2 2.4 0.07 18 Moss 9 41.4 25.4 114 90 6.4 29 20.7 3.3 152 TOTAL 74 161 37 272 CHI SQUARED INFO GOES HERE>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Null Hypothesis - there is no association between the 3 species and the 3 types of dune. ...read more.

Conclusion

This has its disadvantages though. If there are lots of sand dunes, when you are just ahead of one, you may not be able to see the end ranging pole. You could also have used a compass to specify what direction we were travelling in. * Identifying all the different plant species was difficult and would have been easier if we had a key which would aid us in what to look for in each of the species that we found. * The wind speed was not always accurate because it was taking at different heights due to the different heights of the students working in each group. A way of solving this would be to allocate a mark on the ranging pole so that everyone was to hold the meter at the same height. * The ground was very tough and it was hard to stick the ranging poles in the ground. The ranging poles were also not stuck in the same amount of depth. Having a mark near the bottom of the ranging pole approximately 5cm up would aid confusion. * When taking collecting our data we came across a dune ridge that was unstable which meant that we weren't able to collect any data there. We did however carry on to the next point which caused confusion with the sand dune profile because it wasn't shown. * It was difficult to locate the plants that the point-frame quadrat was on, and guess work was sometime used. * We only took 3 vegetation readings, if we had taken more we might have been able to see the transaction from each species to the next. ...read more.

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