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Flat periwinkle Investigation

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Brown Flat Periwinkles: Raw Data Collected from the Sheltered Shore of Angle Point Zone Quadrat number Abundance Running Mean LOWER 1 0 0.000 LOWER 2 0 0.000 LOWER 3 0 0.000 LOWER 4 0 0.000 LOWER 5 0 0.000 LOWER 6 0 0.000 LOWER 7 0 0.000 LOWER 8 0 0.000 LOWER 9 0 0.000 LOWER 10 0 0.000 LOWER 11 0 0.000 LOWER 12 0 0.000 LOWER 13 0 0.000 LOWER 14 0 0.000 LOWER 15 0 0.000 LOWER 16 0 0.000 LOWER 17 0 0.000 LOWER 18 0 0.000 LOWER 19 0 0.000 LOWER 20 0 0.000 LOWER 21 0 0.000 LOWER 22 0 0.000 LOWER 23 0 0.000 LOWER 24 0 0.000 LOWER 25 0 0.000 LOWER 26 0 0.000 LOWER 27 0 0.000 LOWER 28 0 0.000 LOWER 29 0 0.000 LOWER 30 0 0.000 LOWER 31 0 0.000 LOWER 32 0 0.000 LOWER 33 0 0.000 LOWER 34 0 0.000 LOWER 35 0 0.000 LOWER 36 0 0.000 LOWER 37 0 0.000 LOWER 38 0 0.000 LOWER 39 0 0.000 LOWER 40 0 0.000 LOWER 41 LOWER 42 LOWER 43 LOWER 44 LOWER 45 LOWER 46 LOWER 47 LOWER 48 LOWER 49 LOWER 50 Zone Quadrat number Abundance Running Mean Introduction: Aims and Hypothesis The flat periwinkle exists as two distinct species littorina obtusata and littorina mariae, (http:/lineone.net/wildlife/molluscs_flat_periwinlkle.html) both species are common to the sheltered shores of Great Britain and both species can be found in range of different coloured shells (Fish JD and Fish S 1996). The aim of this investigation is to determine if this difference in shell colour will have a significant effect on the distribution of the flat periwinkle on the sheltered shore of Angle point. The distribution and abundance of the flat periwinkle will ultimately be determined by the interactions that the organism experiences between its environment and other organisms. Thus, if changes in shell colour result in the interactions that the flat periwinkle experiences between its biotic and abiotic environment changing, or ...read more.

Middle

0 0 8 6 0 1 0 7 0 7 0 8 0 18 0 9 0 9 0 10 0 0 0 11 0 2 0 The Distribution of Yellow Flat Periwinkles Per Quadrat across the Sheltered Shore: Frequency Lower Shore Middle Shore Upper Shore 0 0 7 15 1 0 26 25 2 0 7 0 3 0 0 0 4 14 0 0 5 14 0 0 6 12 0 0 Running Means Obtained for Each Colour of Flat Periwinkle (to 2 Significant figures): Upper Shore Middle Shore Lower Shore Yellow Flat Periwinkle 6.6 1.0 5.0 Green Flat Periwinkle 3.3 7.6 1.0 Brown Flat Periwinkle 0.0 0.0 0.0 A Graph Showing the Distribution of Yellow Flat Periwinkles Per Quadrat across the Sheltered Shore A Graph Showing the Distribution of Green Flat Periwinkles Per Quadrat across the Sheltered Shore Green: The graph shows that in the majority of quadrats on the lower shore very few green flat periwinkles were found. Significantly, in no quadrat was more then three flat periwinkles found. In the middle shore the graph shows that in most quadrats over six green periwinkles were found with the mode result being eight and the highest number found 11. However, there were anomalous results obtained, the graph shows that whilst in the majority of quadrats high numbers of green periwinkles were found, there were 3 instances in which less then 4 flat green periwinkles were found with 2 quadrats having no flat green periwinkles present at all. Data obtained from the upper shore revealed that on no occasion were more then 6 flat green periwinkles found in a quadrat. The mode result was three with the next most frequent results being four and five. There appear to be three anomalous results where zero flat periwinkles were found. Yellow: The graph shows that the upper shore population of yellow periwinkles was very low indeed. ...read more.

Conclusion

On the upper shore, 25 yellow flat periwinkles were found and 133 green flat periwinkles were found. On the middle shore 306 green flat periwinkles were found and 40 yellow flat periwinkles were found. On the lower shore 200 yellow flat periwinkles , and 40 green flat periwinkles were found. No brown flat periwinkles were found on any part of the shore. Having obtained the results, a chi-squared result of 40.197 (greater then the critical value of 18.46) revealed that there was not an even distribution of different colour of flat periwinkles along the shore. Initially it was thought that different colours would give rise to different thermal properties and hence that would explain the distribution, but this hypothesis was rejected on the basis of stronger evidence. On the lower shore it was found that the yellow flat periwinkles dominated because they were able to hide more effectively from predators by exploiting the yellow colour that F. Serratus adopts when light is transmitted through it. On the middle shore it was found that L. mariae were unable to feed on the dominant seaweed in the zone leaving L. obtusata with a monopoly over the zone. On the upper shore Green periwinkles dominated because they were better camouflaged in the green / brown F. spiralis and it was thought because they were more resistant to desiccation then the yellow periwinkles were, although more data was needed to confirm this. In summary the trends in distribution were the result of differences in innate behaviour, visual selection by predators and tolerance to desiccation. However, in the end it was concluded that further work, in particular a detailed dissection of the different species of flat periwinkle (L. obtusata and L. Maria) would be of benefit in order to better understand the reason why green periwinkles out number yellow periwinkles on the upper shore and so determine if it was the result of an increased resistance to desiccation or purely the result of a better ability to hide from predators, or a combination of both. ...read more.

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