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Biology: Field Project

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Biology Coursework An investigation to discover the relationship between the percentage cover of Birch seedlings and the increased light intensity Research and Rationale My investigation involves the plant species, Silver Birch, the generic name for this plant is Betulaceae, the purpose of this investigation is to discover the affect light intensity has upon it. Silver Birch is a deciduous tree, this type of tree naturally loses its leaves in autumn when the temperature climates. The reason for this is to overcome a water shortage which occurs due to low soil temperatures, this inhibits sufficient active uptake of water by the root system to counteract the water loss if the trees had retained their leaves´┐Ż. It is necessary to acknowledge that when I am recording the light intensity it could mean that there is a direct link between itself and the temperature, it is likely that an increase in light intensity will follow with an increase in temperature and vice versa. There will also be a number of uncontrollable variables which I will have to record, they are the following; Wind speed, temperature, soil temperature, soil pH, soil moisture and humidity. When I will be looking at the percentage cover of Betulaceae it will very similar to looking at the growth of the Betulaceae. It is important to look at different perceptions of biology principles in order to link them together, because of this I have now recognised that percentage cover in simpler terms is growth and growth is related to photosynthesis, the production of food and light is a direct element affecting this process. The percentage cover of Betulaceae will likely to be affected by the light intensity; the Betulaceae will grow in a coupe which has more exposure to light intensity. The percentage cover of Betulaceae will change according to the light intensity of each site; this means that there will be a higher percentage cover in the younger coupe due to the greater exposure to light intensity. ...read more.


> Humidity: The humidity of the environment will not be the same and will also change quite frequently when I measure it. > Soil pH: The pH of soil is unlikely to undergo dramatic changes; they are all mostly acidic so they will be controlled to a certain extent. > Light intensity: the light intensity will change the most frequently of all the variables, this is because it depends on the sun and light travels the quickest so the changes will be seen much quicker. The light intensity is also my independent variable; I will also measure this variable. Possibly the only way I would be able to control all these variables is by working in the same area, where these variables are likely to be most similar. This could be easily done because of the 10x10m grid I have chosen to work in, and I will carry out the investigation using random sampling. Variables: Biotic Factors The other plants surrounding the Birch may have a much greater influence; this is because they will be competing with one another for nutrients, light, oxygen and space. This will undoubtedly affect the Birch's resources and limit their growth rate. Biotic factors that will exist within the plant species will be disease and parasites; this can be very dangerous and could wipe out an entire species. There could also be predators of birch such as animals that can eat them. Risk Assessment This risk assessment identifies the hazards that may occur during my field study experiment. I have used a system that will help recognise the severity of each of the hazards; some will be more severe than others. The likelihood of occurrence and severity will be given a rating between 1 and 3. Hazards Likelihood of occurrence Severity Outcome Precautions Likelihood of occurrence Severity Remaining Risk Getting lost 1 3 3 Use a map and/or travel in pairs 1 1 1 Attacked by an animal 1 3 3 Be aware 1 2 2 Dehydration 3 3 ...read more.


It was 0.82; the 4.55 value is very significant his was the standard deviation for the light intensity of both the 2004 and 2008 coupes. This has meant that my hypothesis has been proved wrong and my null hypothesis is correct. Evaluation of results The results that I collected show that the percentage cover of Birch is low in the 2004 coupe compared to the 2008 coupe, the main reason for this could be the fact that in the 2004 coupe the light intensity is lower than in the 2008 coupe. There are a few anomalies in the 2004 results that I collected, the explanation for most of them is that there was less biodiversity and there were very few Birch there, in fact it was difficult to come across them and when I did the percentage cover was very high because they were fully grown. In the 2008 coupe I had noticed that for many of the percentage cover of Birch results I had found that the individual results that were high also had high variables, for example, my 13th sample had the percentage cover of Birch was 29% and the temperature was 19.4 Celsius. This could show that when there is a high temperature there is also a high percentage cover of Birch. Conclusion of results The results prove my hypothesis wrong however this is from the statistics that I have done and it is clear that they do not represent any significant difference. The null hypothesis is correct as there is no significant difference, the limitations of my results were, the time and the failure of some equipment. There was a lack of time to complete some results this may have affected the results I had taken for my 2004 coupe. Ways in which this could be rectified is by working faster or leaving earlier. ?? ?? ?? ?? Mide Kole-Emmanuel Biology Coursework 17/07/09 1 ...read more.

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