• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Investigation into whether light intensity affects the diversity of animal species in a stream.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Peter Tran Biology A2 Coursework Investigation into whether light intensity affects the diversity of animal species in a stream Introduction Fouldon Common, situated in West Norfolk, is a large Common which had been used as grazing land for many hundred years. As this use faded, much of the Common has developed plant life and many different habitats in which many organisms. This investigation is to be performed on Fouldon Common, the stream to be more precise. The stream runs along the edge of the common and it's spring-fed. It is a pleasant habitat and large variety of stream life can be found including some fish, sticklebacks and stone loaches, etc and a range of insects, especially mayfly larvae, stonefly larvae, flatworms, leeches and Great diving beetles. Organisms survive in many different microhabitats and organism diversity varies accordingly. Stream life can vary greatly between different habitats and there are many factors, which affect this range in abundance and diversity of organisms. Factors such as water depth, temperature, availability of Oxygen, and light intensity all affect the organisms which may be found in a particular habitat. I have chosen to measure the effect of light intensity on the species diversity in streams of Fouldon Common. In the investigation, streams of varying light intensity must be chosen and representative samples of the species within each site taken in order to determine this factor's effect on species diversity. Prediction I believe that the varying light intensity will affect the species diversity of organisms in the different sites of the stream. The greater the light intensity, the greater the species diversity. ...read more.

Middle

Some mud-burrowers such as larvae of dipteral use respiratory pigments like haemoglobin to help in oxygen uptake, and this shows how adaptations to anaerobic conditions is often needed. Lower oxygen levels in stream means fewer species of organisms can survive. I plan to measure the oxygen levels of each site in my investigation in order to compare this with the light intensity and the species diversity. Light Intensity: Varying light intensities affect the abundance and diversity of species in streams. Lower light intensities in the stream means that less plant life is supported therefore reduces the chances of aquatic organisms surviving as herbivores. However, organisms which feed from detritus (detritivores) thrive in such conditions, so organisms which feed on detritivores can also found in such areas. In areas of higher light intensities, plant life is more likely to survive due to the opportunity of greater photosynthesis processes. This means that more herbivores are likely to survive in such areas as well as those organisms which feed off the herbivores. My Investigation will measure the light intensities at each site and these relative values will then be compared to the oxygen levels and species found in each site. Cloud Cover: Cloud cover can vary every few seconds and therefore affects the light intensity on the stream. Chemical Composition: Changes in nitrate levels from organic pollution may affect the ecology of the stream directly. Photosynthesis: Just about all of the above variables will affect the rate of photosynthesis, which is essential for supporting plant life, therefore animal life as well. Biotic Factors Competition: Competition occurs between two or more organisms. ...read more.

Conclusion

Once all species have been identified, counted and recorded, lower the inspection tray into the water in order to carefully return the organisms to their habitats. This is to be performed once at each location and then repeated twice in order to receive three separate tallies from each location. Safety A number of precautions must be taken in order for this investigation to be performed in a safe and practical manner. Carry equipment securely and do not place equipment in open areas where they can easily be stumbled on. When entering the stream, tread carefully and lightly as submerged objects such as tree trunks are common and depth is difficult to judge. Also tread carefully on the edge of stream as the wet areas may cause slipping. Water from stream can be contaminated; minimal contact should be maintained and hands must be washed after having come in contact with the stream water. Data Analysis In order to analyse the data received, having used the procedures outlined above, data must be accumulated and manipulated. In order to analyse the species organism data; the three tallies from each location are to be accumulated in order to give a separate tally for each site, which shows the different species and their abundance at each location. A graph must then be drawn showing the relationship between the light intensity and species diversity and a graph showing the relationship between oxygen levels and light intensity. The Species diversity Index test and the T-test should be applied in order to analyse the data received. The Species Diversity Index (SDI) or Simpson Index is a very useful way to summarise data and obtain one single figure which will indicate the diversity or richness of a particular habitat. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Energy, Respiration & the Environment section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Energy, Respiration & the Environment essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Effect of nitrate concentration on the growth of Duckweeds

    5 star(s)

    these anions by coupling their transport to the inwards diffusion of H+ ions through a Cotransporter. Since the investigation was on the effect of the nitrate concentration on growth, all the other nutrients needed for the plant were obtained from the tap water and solution, to prevent the growth to be affected by any other limiting factor.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Fighter Pilot A Statistical Analysis of Reaction time and its Correlation with Dominant ...

    5 star(s)

    32 Overall average 21 Overall average 28 Table 2 Data from preliminary field work; reaction time of ten subjects shown in seconds Dominant Non-Dominant Test results (s) Test results (s) Subject Try Try Try Average Subject Try Try Try Average 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 0.197 0.169 0.156

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Investigation on the size of Limpets.

    5 star(s)

    to stay attached to the rocks, but not all Limpets can have strong muscles, especially new born young limpets. This was supported by my observations, as I saw that there were more young, smaller Limpets on the lower shore then on the upper shore, Frenchman's Steps where more adult and large Limpets were found.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    'An investigation into the ability of two strains of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae to ...

    4 star(s)

    are afforded different lengths of incubation time, the degree to which the carbon source is used would be affected, leading to inequality in the resultant outcomes. Through making a note of the time which the samples entered the incubator, their due removal at the appropriate time can be established.

  1. Daphnia Investigation

    Double the result to gain a value in beats per minute. 6. Leave the Daphnia for 2 minutes for the caffeine to be used up in the environment and then repeat from step 4 using a different concentration of caffeine. Continue until samples of all solutions have been used. 7.

  2. Yeast Coursework

    This continues to occur until the optimum temperature is reached, which, in this case appears to be about 50�C. After this point, the rate of respiration soon starts to decrease. The reason for this is that the active site starts to denature, which means that the substrates can no longer bind in the enzymes active site.

  1. An investigation into the distribution of adult and juvenile limpets on a rocky shoreline.

    Calliper is used to measure the base diameter of limpets. It has a higher degree of accuracy compared to a ruler. It can measure lengths to the nearest tenth of a millimetre, thus more reliable. 30m tape measure to be laid out as a transect path to take sample along it.

  2. the effect of bile concentration on the activity of the enzyme lipase during the ...

    Obtain two 10cm3 pipettes, one 20cm3 pipette and a 2cm3 pipette and then take them to your working area 14. Obtain a 50cm3 beaker and fill it with approximately 40cm3 of 0.1 sodium carbonate solution then take it to your working 15.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work