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How does the Variety of plant species change between grassland and woodland?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How does the Variety of plant species change between grassland and woodland? Variation in plant species was investigated in grassland and woodland at Barrow house Derwentwater. It was predicted that there would be a higher variety of plants in the woodland. Random quadrats were taken in grassland area and in a woodland area. A significant difference was found in the variety of plants. It was found that there was a larger variety in the woodland than in the Grassland. 10/21/2010 How does the Variety of plant species change between grassland and Woodland? This investigation will focus on the variety of plant species. The purpose of this investigation will be to investigate the link between distribution of organisms and biotic/abiotic factors. There are approximately 1,500 species of native wild plants (excluding mosses, lichens and algae) in the British Isles and Ireland. This includes shrubs, grasses, sedges, rushes, ferns, horsetails and flowers. A native species is one which: * naturally grows in the wild and has not been planted or deliberately introduced by people * Has not been selectively bred or cultivated. Non-native (introduced) species are also found in the countryside but I expect that most of the species I find will be native. I expect that there will be different species of plants growing in the different areas, these might include; P. lanceolata is a frost tolerant, winter-green, rosette forming herb capable of flowering in its first year�, Tussocks are a tuft of grass looking like a grass heap. Rushes: grasses which have hollow stems that look like pipes, with a white inner coating and Ferns plants that grow in either shaded or unshaded land. Numerous factors exist that influence the distribution and abundance of plant populations in an ecosystem. Factors may be either abiotic, (physical characteristics of a habitat), or biotic, (caused by living organisms). Differences in the environment allow species to survive over others in a habitat. The species best adapted are more likely to survive by out-competing others for vital resources. ...read more.

Middle

Start the statistical analysis on the results The 'T'-Test is used to test for a significant difference between the two means of my quantitive data set from the sheltered and exposed shore. I will make use of the student 'T'-test because it is the best method to deduce whether my results are sufficient to be able to reject the Null Hypothesis or whether it must be accepted. Preliminary Tests I carried out my method as a trial before starting my official investigation, I did this to check how the method would work out and whether I would get viable results that I could base strong conclusions on. Instead of carrying out 15 tests at each site I chose to carry out 5 samples at each site, although I did not use the random sampling technique I had prepared for the final investigation because I did not think that the sampling technique needed to be tested in the preliminary tests. I have included the tables of results that I got for the preliminary tests, once I saw that they followed my hypothesis and there were no anomalous results, so I then moved onto taking my final results and not changing the method because it worked well in the preliminary investigation. Managed Grassland Species 1 2 3 4 5 Grass % 98 95 97 92 90 Moss % 1 2 1 1 5 bramble 0 0 0 0 0 Ash seedling8 0 0 0 0 0 rhododendron 0 0 0 0 1 Ferns 0 0 0 1 0 Aphanes avensis 0 0 0 0 0 Rumex acetosa 1 0 0 1 0 Prunella vugains 0 1 1 0 0 Crisium arvense 0 1 0 0 2 Nettle 0 3 0 1 0 Total no of species 3 4 3 5 4 Unmanaged Woodland Species 1 2 3 4 5 Grass % 30 60 67 55 43 Moss % 11 20 10 15 40 bramble 2 3 1 3 5 Ash seedling8 0 1 0 1 1 ...read more.

Conclusion

Even the small difference in height could have affected the results. The limitations that I faced in my investigations were; Equipment limitations- The equipment I used to collect my data was not of high technology, the quadrat I used was a bit bent out of shape leaving me to guess the percentage covers. Human error- To identify the species of plants I took pictures and identified them when I got back but I may have been mistaken about some of the species. Also I took I5 samples in each area but as shown with the anomaly at site 7 in the grassland, maybe 15 wasn't enough if I had taken maybe 25 then I would have been able to discard the anomaly but I felt that 14 was too little a number despite this there seems to be a definite pattern about which area had the most biodiversity. On the whole the variables were kept fairly constant and errors from them severely reduced. However, there are many improvements that could be made if the investigation was to be repeated. Firstly, more results should be taken, as although this investigation provided adequate results, there was not much room for error. A larger sample size would provide more accurate and reliable results and encourage my hypothesis. There are many possible ways to extend the investigation. I could take further measurements such as pH levels, wind speed, light levels and humidity. I could carry out my experiment to see if the results are the same in different areas such as near the sea or in towns and cities where there will be more pollution to see if any of these factors contribute to the variations in my results. Also the grassland was managed by sheep eating it, in other areas where it is not sheep feeding on the grass, the results may be different because the sheep may prefer eating some of the different plant species and that why there was little or none of them in the centre and why I found them at the edge near the woodland where the sheep may not feed. ...read more.

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4 star(s)

This is a well structured and well written report.
1. There needs to be a method in place to indicate where each of the sources has influenced this report.
2. The conclusion needs to explain the patterns that have been found.
3. The evaluation is well written.
****

Marked by teacher Luke Smithen 13/08/2013

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