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Vegetation Coursework

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Contents Pages Introduction 2-3 Aim 4 Hypotheses 4 Methodology 5 Map of Study Area 6 Photo Analysis 7-12 Written Analysis 13-22 Conclusion 23 Evaluation 24 Introduction What is Vegetation? Vegetation is the term given to plant life in an area. It refers to the amount of area that is covered by plant life however it doesn't specify what types or species of plants are there. There are two main types of vegetation, natural and cultivated. Cultivated vegetation is vegetation that has been created through the help of human beings such as farmland, mining and lumbering. Natural Vegetation is defined as plants that grow without human assistance in a particular place such as forests, deserts and shrubs. They are found mainly on the outskirts of cities or in rural areas. The natural vegetation of a particular place varies according to a lot of factors. Factors Climate is the main factor which determines the types of plant species that you will find in a given place as the certain plants can only survive in certain conditions. The main elements of climate that affect plants are rainfall, temperature. Other factors are: Latitudinal position affects the amount of light available to the plants and the intensity at which the sun shines. If there is too much sunlight then plants die but if there isn't enough sunlight then they die as well. This is because plants need sunlight to perform photosynthesis which is essential for them to live as that is the way they produce food for themselves, however if plants cannot survive in extreme sunshine as it would dry up all the water and can cause them to shrivel-up and burn. ...read more.

Middle

This picture shows bushes which are very dusty and dried-up. The leaves on the first plant are shrivelling up due to lack of water. This is another bush which has hardly any leaves and the branches are all tangled up together. There is also a chips wrapper and a plastic bag which means that there has been human intervention in the area. This is a picture of the 30m transit line which we placed in the highlands and two points on the transit line 8m and 18m. The majority of the area was just rock and the rest had dried grass and small pebbles as can be seen at the 18m mark. Lowlands This picture shows the lowlands. It is densely vegetated with a variety of plants and trees. The trees are much taller than those in the highlands. The trees and plants in this picture have a lot of leaves and the ground is covered in dry leaves. This picture shows how densely vegetated the area is and how little sunlight there is as the camera needed flash to get the picture. This picture shows more of the plants and trees that are green and lush. There are many different types of plants and their leaves are much larger than the ones in the highlands. This picture shows the 30m transit line in the lowlands and the two points on the line (0m and 12m). The ground is covered in dry leaves as can be seen at the 0m mark and there are lots of plants around 1 meter tall. ...read more.

Conclusion

A variety of aspects are the reason for this. As the main purpose of leaves is to gather energy from sunlight and perform photosynthesis they are much smaller in the highlands. In the highlands plants are subject to direct sunlight as there are no obstructions in the way (except for clouds) meaning that leaves do not have to grow that big to intercept sunlight. Another reason is that the soil moisture in the highlands is low as most of the water evaporates because of the sun which means that plants don't have long leaves as to maximize the amount of water that reaches the soil. In the lowlands the sunlight is much less because the denseness of the area makes it hard for plants to get enough light therefore they have bigger leaves to increase the amount of sunlight they are able to absorb. The moisture in the lowlands is much higher as earlier mentioned and because of this; plants have bigger leaves to maximize the amount of transpiration so that the soil doesn't become water-logged. Height of plants Highlands Lowlands Height in cm 10-20 42-102 Sample/Picture Plants in the lowlands are much taller than those in the highlands due to the fact that in the lowlands the amount of sunlight is less than in the highlands and therefore plants grow taller to be able to get the sunlight they need to perform photosynthesis. This is possible because of the high amount of nutrients and moisture available in the lowlands which was shown in the soil test. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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