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How does the temperature of the water in rock pools affect the distribution of dog whelks and does the change in temperature reflect the change in oxygen levels?

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Introduction

How does the temperature of the water in rock pools affect the distribution of dog whelks and does the change in temperature reflect the change in oxygen levels? Abstract I am exploring how the temperature of a rock pool affects the number of snails in that rock pool. I want to see if snails have a preferred temperature in which to live, and hopefully find out why that is. I want to discover any possible correlations between temperature and distribution. I am exploring how water temperature affects the number of snails living in a rock pool and wish to discover any possible correlations between temperature and distribution. I want to see if snails have a preferred temperature in which to live and hopeful find a scientific reason for this through my research. Lauren White Candidate number 3269 Monmouth Comprehensive School Research The investigation will take place at Bracelet Bay on the Gower1. It is a rocky shore, and so is ideal for the dog whelk, which attaches itself to rocks. There are also lots of rock pools; ideal for measuring temperature in. The beach is registered as a site of special geological interest, meaning the rock formations are fantastic. Hopefully, the rock pools are also the right temperature for the dog whelks to inhabit. According to Wikipedia, a dog whelk is in the mollusk family and is a carnivorous sea snail. Its shell is small and rounded with a pointed spire and a short siphonal canal. There is a groove on the underside of the shell. ...read more.

Middle

The transects were chosen using a random number generator, walking the number of metres shown, and then choosing a rock pool nearest to where we were. There is a high degree of unreliability in this method, but it was difficult to find an alternative. Variables I cannot control include salinity of water, shadows made by rocks causing cooler water, prey or lack of it, the weather conditions on the day chosen. I cannot control many variables, but I am measuring temperature and number of dog whelks, so these do not need to be controlled. 2 Shows zonation of shore Preliminary Test I will go to the rocky shore (Bracelet Bay, the Gower) on Monday 29th June to carry out my experiment. The first thing I will do (using a quadrat) is conduct a preliminary trial to see if my experiment is appropriate. This I will do by taking three random transects of each area of shore-line and counting the numbers of dog whelks in each. The transects give me an area which will be the same wherever I place it, meaning it is fair and reliable. I can make them random by using a random number generator and walking that many metres from a given point. Shore Number of dog whelks per transect Upper 0 0 0 Middle 7 9 12 Lower 4 6 3 Change to plan The results of our preliminary test show it is pointless to measure the distribution of dog whelks on the upper shore, as there are no dog whelks, and no water to measure the temperature of. ...read more.

Conclusion

This signifies a drastic issue with my experiment. Evaluation I think my experiment was fairly successful as it did provide me with the results I expected. However, there were problems, and conducting a larger scale investigation would result in more accurate and reliable data. This would involve experimenting in various different environments, although remaining on rocky shores, as that is the preferred habitat. I would try and take a bigger sample size, and obtain more accurate equipment. Ideally, I would also do another experiment, on a different rocky shore, to see if the same things were found in different places. I would want to repeat the experiment in various weather conditions to test whether there is a normal distribution curve. By this I mean dog whelks will die in extreme hot or cold conditions. More dog whelks were found on dry land but the temperature could not be measured, because the thermometers did not seem to measure air temperature as accurately. Also, the equipment (the ruler and thermometer) were not accurate enough. We definitely would have needed a more accurate thermometer were the experiment to be repeated. I learned a lot from my experiment, including various aspects of safety. Unfortunately, the safety aspect of it could have affected the results, but we had to make sure we didn't injure ourselves clambering over sharp and slippery rocks, or wading through water that was too deep. I enjoyed this experiment as I liked monitoring living things and the way they are affected by conditions. I enjoyed working on the beach; as a site for the experiment it was good. ...read more.

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