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Abundance of vegitation

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Introduction

Title An investigation on how trampled and un-trampled land affects the abundance and diversity of grassland at Nettlecombe in the month of March on and off a footpath. Hypothesis There is a difference in the abundance and diversity of grassland on trampled and un-trampled land at Nettlecombe in the month of March on and off a footpath. Null Hypothesis There is no difference in the abundance and diversity of grassland on trampled and un-trampled land at Nettlecombe in the month of March on and off a footpath. Introduction Prior to the writing up my coursework I travelled to Nettlecombe which is situated In Somerset. Nettlecombe Court lies in a secluded valley at the eastern edge of Exmoor National Park. Location of Somerset Figure 1 I will be studying the abundance of a wide variety of plant species on trampled and un-trampled land. These species will include: Creeping buttercup Ranunculus repens L. A native perennial common in damp meadows, pastures and gardens throughout the UK. It is the commonest of the buttercups and is an efficient colonist of areas disturbed by man and a troublesome weed of arable land. Creeping buttercup occurs on a wide range of soils but forms large colonies on wet, heavy land. On ridge and furrows, it often occurs in a band along the bottom of the furrows. It can withstand trampling and compaction and is common in gateways and on paths. ...read more.

Middle

10 samples should be enough to provide sufficient data representation and draw an accurate a conclusion and either accept or reject my null hypothesis. Location- Location would be a major contributing factor in accepting or rejecting my null hypothesis. I decided to allow 20 meters before I took any samplings on trampled land due to the muddy patches that were present at the beginning of the field. Methodology Apparatus 1. Point quadrat - This will be used to measure the abundance of vegetation in the sampling area 2. Soil petrometer - To measure how compact the soil is in the sampling area 3. Key - To identify plants 4. Tape measure- To Identify sampling area 5. Ruler- To measure the distance between each point quadrat 6. Calculator - To calculate my stats test Risk Assessment While carrying out this experiment I took precautions to make sure this investigation was carried out safely. One risk is the weather and the possibility of different conditions throughout the day. Therefore I will wear adequate clothing while carrying out my experiment such as a warm waterproof coat and trousers. There is also the risk involved when using a point quadrat. The needle of the point quadrat is fairly sharp and therefore the needle will be handled with care. Finally I am carrying out my experiment on a used footpath used by vehicles and pedestrians. Therefore I must move off the footpath when a car is approaching. ...read more.

Conclusion

From looking at my results it could be argued that cofounding variables played a part in the outcome of the results. Therefore, while carrying out the investigation I measured the compactness of the soil. The compactness of the soil provided different results due to un-trampled land being unspoilt by pedestrians etc, and trampled land being frequently used. Therefore, trampled soil will tend to be more compact, and this will have an effect on the amount of nutrients in the soil leading to a decrease in the abundance of grassland in the area. Finally, competition may also explain why there is a difference in abundance between the two grasslands. Un-trampled grassland had been untouched and therefore there is competition between different species. In addition, un-trampled grassland has taller vegetation in comparison to trampled grassland. This may be due to their exposure to more sunlight and the fact that grassland in a trampled area is constantly stepped upon and therefore the stem of the flower may break losing its support and height. Evaluation Throughout the duration of the experiment I was lucky enough not to obtain any anomalies due to consistent weather conditions and the land amount of land available to me to carry of the experiment. Precaution and care were also taken while obtaining the data. However I believe the experiment could be improved through the methodology and more samplings could have been taken. Even though my 10 samplings were sufficient to make my data representative, and enough to accept my hypothesis, ideally I would have taken 20 samplings. 20 samplings would have further confirmed the results beyond doubt. ...read more.

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

4 star(s)

This is a well researched and written report.
1. The source of information needs to be referenced.
2. The introduction section is well written.
3. The conclusion needs to attempt to explain the patterns that have been found.
4. The evaluation needs to suggest further research opportunities.
****

Marked by teacher Luke Smithen 23/07/2013

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