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Fresh Water Ecology.

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Introduction

Introduction My aim is to distinguish the general situation of the River Swale. Mainly, I am interested in the oxygen content of the water in the Swale. To do this I observed what organisms live in which part of the river as different organisms need different amounts of oxygen. For example, organisms such as mayfly larvae need more oxygen than, for example, bloodworms. If more mayfly larvae are present, this suggests that the water is quite oxygenated. Where the water crashes over rocks, there tends to be a lot of oxygen as the water is aerated so organisms needing a lot of oxygen tend to be found here. I am also interested in the speed of flow of the River Swale. Also, general things such as any signs of pollution. I am would like to investigate what effects man has made to the ecosystem, as well. To help me find out some/all of these issues, I am going to calculate the Trent River Biotic Index, the Diversity Index and the Biochemical Oxygen Demand. Prediction My prediction was that the water of the River Swale will be in quite good condition as it is flowing from the mountains meaning that it will be quite fresh. River's, which aren't fresh and are polluted, is mainly because of organic pollution. Organic pollution includes sewage and silage effluent. ...read more.

Middle

We're going to do this five times to get some varied data. Twice, the data will be from a slow, settled part of the river and the other three repetitions will be from the fast-flowing part of the river. We will also measure the speed of flow of the River Swale. About three people will do this by measuring out 10 metres and 1 person will stand at the beginning and one at the end of the 10-metre span. The first person will put a little plastic container on the surface of the water, and as soon as that's done, the third person will begin timing. We will then record the time of how long it takes for the little plastic container to travel 10 metres. We're going to do this in slow-moving and fast-moving water. Evidence From the River Swale Repeats Organism 1-Slow-Flowing 2-Slow-Flowing 3-Fast-Flowing 4-Fast-Flowing 5-Fast-Flowing Stonefly Nymphs 2 (Leuctra) 9 Mayfly-Baetis 1 Ecdyonulus 1 1 (big one!) Chironomid Larva 1 Fresh Water Shrimp 1 Fresh Water Beetle 1 Ephemera 1 The river was flowing at about 32 seconds/10 metres in the shallow/more settled area and it was flowing at about 24 seconds/10 metres in the deep/faster waters. From the data provided Species Tally Asellus (water hog louse) 10 Gammerus (f.w. shrimp) 3 Chironomous Larvae 13 Flat Worm 3 Ram's Horn Snail 7 Tubifex 7 Trent River Biotic Index The Trent River Biotic Index tells us how clean/polluted the river is. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Diversity Index for the River Swale was 4.25 and the Diversity Index for the other river was 5.28. The higher the diversity index, the more variety of species there are in that specific river. So this specific data shows that there is more variety of species in the other river to the River Swale. Evaluation I enjoyed this experiment because it was different, however, the data we collected from the River Swale isn't really reliable because we didn't collect enough species. We didn't have the time to take more samples therefore the Trent River Biotic Index and the Diversity Index aren't very reliable. If we had joined all the class's results together and each used those results, we would have got a much more accurate and reliable outcome. We should also have tested different parts of the River (not necessarily length ways but width ways). My prediction cannot be proved or disproved because of the number of species we collected. We did manage to account for all the species and name them all, and they all came towards the top of the Biotic Index group suggesting the river is high in oxygen. The smallest creatures were obviously the hardest to identify. Overall, I've gained knowledge on how to calculate various things to do with rivers and can now identify a few different river organisms. By Emma Ward 12 TLW ...read more.

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