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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: Maths
  • Word count: 2334

The Distribution of Daises, Plantains, Moss and Grass.

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        Ecology Investigation                 



I aim to find out the distribution of daises, plantains, moss and grass. I will measure the distribution in two different area’s of the school ground; the first area is in front of the dining hall where there is plenty of sunlight, the area is trampled frequently, I labelled this area DH for Dinner Hall. The second area is in front of School House boarding house, there are lots of tall trees here, so there is a light difference between the two areas, this area also gets trampled quite a lot. We labelled this area SH for School House.


I predict that in the open area there will be more grass and daises than in the shaded area. The reason for this is that the plants with a small surface area require more sunshine than plants with a large surface area to create the same amount of chemical energy by photosynthesis. In the shaded area in front of School House (SH) I expect to find moss and plantains, plants having a large surface area are able to process the shaded sunlight more efficiently.


For my investigation I will take at least 20 quadrates from each of these areas.

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After completing the moisture content I did the humus content, this measures the amount of dead animal and plant material in soil. I did this by putting the remaining soil from the moisture experiment into a crucible. It was heated for half an hour on a strong flame and all the humus burned off leaving just pure soil.



In the test to find the pH of the soil, the indicator turned the water a murky green in both cases, indicating an alkaline solution and when I checked it on the pH scale it was a pH10.

Water Content

After the samples came out of the oven all the water had evaporated leaving dry soil, after weighing these were the results: -





If the soil weighs 8.0g after heating, then I take away 8.0 from 10.0 to give 2.0g, this is the amount of water lost from SH. I did the same with DH and these were the results I got: -





I can see from these figures that the percentages of water lost were: -






After being heated for half an hour over a strong flame, I weighed the remaining soil and I came out with the following set of results:





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My prediction for the Dining Hall area was correct in that there was a high percentage of grass (40%), but less daisies (9%) than expected. During the experiment I discovered large amounts of buck-weed (33%) among the grass, this plant has a small leaf surface area, therefore could be expected to thrive in this sunny place.

The results show that the narrower leafed plants i.e. plants with a small surface area, thrive in the sunshine but tend to do less well in shaded areas. Whereas moss and plants with a large surface area can thrive in reduced light conditions.


                          Robert Clark 11TL

                                     Windsor School  

Robert Clark 11TL                February 2002

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