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Weed study. Dandelions - descrption and characteristics. Investigation to dandelion distribution.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Introduction One of the most familiar wild plants is the dandelion. It is, however, a troublesome plant that is a weed in lawns and gardens. The dandelion lives throughout the temperate zones. It is a perennial, surviving winter and re-growing in early spring. It blooms in spring and summer. The roots may be up to five feet (1.5 meters) deep. The deeply lobed leaves grow out from center close to the ground. The best way to get rid of dandelions in a lawn is to use a weed killer. They also may be pulled, but it is necessary to loosen the plant so that the entire root comes out. Dandelions belong to the composite family of plants. The blossom is actually a bouquet of about 150 to 200 tiny flowers set in a solid head on a receptacle. Each flower is a perfect seed-producing floret. As the small, dry, one-seeded fruits mature, they push up a feathery structure called a pappus on a threadlike stalk. All the pappi together make up the blow ball. The wind takes the seeds and scatters them far and wide. Dandelion greens are a delicacy in the spring when the leaves are tender and fresh. They can be boiled or eaten raw in salads. The word dandelion comes from the French dent de lion, meaning 's tooth. The scientific name is Taraxacum officinale. Picture number one shows a fully blossomed dandelion, these are most likely to be seen in early spring. Picture number two represents a picture of a group of dandelions. This picture is more precise as you can see the green leaves. They are easy to identify, as they resemble the holly leaf. To the suburban homeowner this deep-rooted wildflower may be nothing more than a pest, an unsightly blight in the lawn. Yet nutritionists prize dandelion greens as a rich source of vitamins A and C, and in fact this brings $300,000 to $400,000 annually to the farmers of southern New Jersey, who supply dandelion greens to produce markets throughout the country. ...read more.

Middle

> Soil samples were taken using a spoon and soil pot. This will be used to take the soil samples of the soil. You only need a small amount of soil. Once you have retrieved this you may place them in their pots. Be sure to do this every time you place you quadrat on the ground. > Once the first 20 soil samples were collected all the pots were placed in a bag, and labelled. Where you have attained these samples. > Be sure to wear gloves when you are taking pH samples. Our body pH is 5.5; therefore if you perspire you may distort your results. Remember this is apart of your control variable. > To measure soil depth you had to take your knitting needle and place it in the ground. Push as hard as you can. When it does not go deeper into the ground, you now that this is the furthest that it will go. Then take it out, and measure how far the mud mark is on the needle. For accuracy reasons, it would be better to measure this in mm. > Then you must take the light intensity reading. All you need to do is stand where you took your co-ordinate and then take the reading. Record this on your table. > This method was repeated on the 2nd lawn, on the other desired site. Which will be the shaded or unshaded, depending on what ground you implemented your experiment first. Back at the lab, the soil samples were tested for pH. > Collect all of your soil samples. They must be in two separate polythene bags, one for the shaded area and one for the unshaded area. > Take your first soil sample and place it in the beaker. > Add a small amount of distilled water, to the beaker, to convert it into a solution. ...read more.

Conclusion

And the soil depth did not meet the requirements. When I was doing my experiment in Templeton Lawn I noticed that there was a large oak tree. When I researched oak trees I found out that there roots are very large, and compete with the entire dandelion population. Even though the dandelion is naturally competing species I do not think that it would compete against a large domineering oak tree. The oak tree must have affected the dandelions abundance slightly, as it must have been up taking all the nutrients by active transport. I felt that I could improve on my accuracy in certain areas. For example, I wanted to investigate the soil temperature. However, this was a limitation as their was no type of equipment to investigate this, I had to investigate the air temperature and use this. I do not feel the external temperature was the same as the internal temperature. Therefore this is a limitation. I believe that my results are quite valid overall. As my background, knowledge did also support my results. But I think that my results are not very accurate, as I did not investigate some important factors, such as nitrate level in the soil, and the moistness of the soil, which I feel is quite important, and could affect the abundance of dandelion between the two sites that I was working on. Appendix These arrows represent the dandelions that were present on the trampled area, on the lower lawn. This is a picture of the lower lawn. The arrow represents the unshaded area. This is where I implemented my first experiment. This picture represents two of my peers collecting soil samples. We used the spoon, and placed the soil sample in the vile. Then placed them in a polythene bag. When the wind blows the seeds away, they land on the ground, and then grow into dandelions. This was found on the Lower Lawn. These are often known as parachute seeds. This is a picture of a fully blossomed dandelion. Experiment number one was implemented at this site. Lower Lawn. ...read more.

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