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An Investigation of the differences in Ascophylum Nodosum

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Introduction

AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE DIFFERENCES IN ASCOPHYLUM NODOSUM ON TWO DIFFERENT TYPES OF SHORES, EXPOSED AND SHELTERED, BY LOOKING AT: THE DIFFERENCES IN FROND LENGTH, THE DISTANCE BETWEEN THE FIRST AND SECOND BLADDERS AND THE NUMBER OF BLADDERS FOUND ON THE FRONDS. INTRODUCTION (CONT.) This is a brown seaweed, often called rock-weed. It grows in the mid-to-lower intertidal zone, is varied in colour from deep chocolate brown to golden. The characteristic form of the plant is a group of fleshy tendrils emanating from a single stem. These tendrils are bloated with a series of bladders or 'nodes', filled with air, along their length - hence 'Nodosum'- which ensure that the plant floats on or near the surface when submerged. This ensures a better rate of photosynthesis, and thus faster rate of growth for the seaweed. It is the fast growing nature of Ascophyllum, which makes it a very potent source of natural plant growth hormones. These hormones are also very important in the physiology of land plants, hence the particular use of this seaweed to gardeners, horticulturists and organic farmers. The plant is also very rich in natural minerals, as it absorbs these, which are abundant in the sea. The secrets of releasing the potency of this seaweed, are the freshness of the plant, the care in harvesting and most of all the care in extraction and preparation. ...read more.

Middle

The mean number of bladders on the sheltered shore was found to be 4.70 whereas the mean for the exposed shore was lower being 3.75. The distance between the first and the second bladders on the fronds were significantly higher on the sheltered shore. The mean distance was higher on the sheltered shore, 15.6cm, higher than that of the exposed shore 9.45cm. The lengths of the fronds also gave higher figures for the sheltered shore, as the mean length there was 109.55cm, higher than the mean length of the fronds on the exposed shore, which was 58.40cm. There was a correlation with the number of bladders on the frond to the actual length of the frond. The longer the frond the higher the number of bladders on it. There are more bladders on the fronds of the plants on the sheltered shore. This may be attributed to the fact that the plants on the sheltered coastline do not experience as much wave action as those on the rocky shore. Hence they tend to retain to retain more of their bladders compared to those found on the rocky shore. Also because of the wave action the plants on the exposed shore could be damaged more frequently because of the wave action compared to those found on the sheltered shore where they were experiencing a much lesser intensity of wave action. ...read more.

Conclusion

This means that we can reject the null hypothesis meaning that the results from the different shores were due to adaptations to their different habitats. The t-test for the ratio between the number of bladders and the lengths of the fronds was also highly insignificant as it gave a figure lower than 0.1% significance. Remembering that 0.1% is equal to 3.551, the t- test was 4.29. Again tells us that we can reject the null hypothesis meaning the results gained are due to the adaptations of the Ascophyllum Nodosum due the two different environments, the exposed shore with the greater wave intensity and frequency and the sheltered shore which has minor wave intensity and frequency. The biggest value that came out of the t-test was the test for the length of fronds. This gave a value of 7.91 which is well below the 0.1% significance of 3.551. We can therefore again reject the null hypothesis and again claim that the results are do to the adaptations and as a result of the different environments. A running mean was calculated. This was to show whether the sample size collected was adequate enough to give accurate results to draw upon a reliable conclusion. The graph showed the mean to level off after around ten results and only varied by a few percent. The causes of the differences may have been due to allopatrick speciation. ...read more.

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