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A Study of Succession in the Dragonfly Pond

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Introduction

A Study of Succession in the Dragonfly Pond Succession - The combination of processes, which produce a gradual change in the structure and species composition at a particular site. Dragonfly Pond: The pond was created in 1986 by Anglian Water to provide a habitat for dragonflies. It is in a horseshoe shape and is situated next to Grafham water in Bedfordshire. Dragonfly Pond: Can Signs of Succession be Seen Around the Pond? Hypotheses: 1) The further one goes around the pond away from the open water, the depth will gradually reduce. This is because as you go along the transect more succession will have taken place, therefore the pond will be more developed containing more plants and a higher soil level due to it containing more decayed matter from each community decaying as it is succeeded until the climax community is reached and more sediment will be able to build up in the roots of the new plants. 2) There will be more vegetation as one goes further along the transect. There will be a bigger hydrosere because more succession will have taken place and therefore the conditions will favour a greater range of plants to be supported. ...read more.

Middle

The quadrat was held at waist height and at arms length for each measurement, however it was sometimes difficult to accurately count the number of full squares covered by a plant type. Proving Hypotheses: To prove hypothesis 3 I used spearman's rank correlation coefficient to show that there was a direct link between the depth of water decreasing and the number of emergent plants. The correlation coefficient can then be put in to a graph to give a significance level of similarity between the two factors. (see working) The significance level came out to 1% so there is definitely a strong correlation. The similarity can also be seen clearly on graph 3 where the submergents decrease rapidly after an anomalous bare ground reading at the first transect. This anomaly may have been caused by the submergent plants at this point being covered by soil falling in from the bank leaving very few plants to be seen here. A further anomaly can be seen on the percentage of total plant cover (graph 5). There appears to be very few plants at point 8, this in fact was a mud strip used as a walkway to the centre of the pond and thus plants had not taken root here. ...read more.

Conclusion

This doesn't support my hypothesis but it's not to say the hypothesis is necessarily wrong. The hydrosere has developed from the single type of submergent plant ....... To a number of emergent plants and even a few marsh plants. To try to prove this I should have counted the number of different species at each point on the transect. So in summary: Depth and submergent plants decreases along the transect. Emergent plants increase along the transect. Total percentage cover of plants is high throughout. Evaluation: I thought the investigation was very successful as I was able to prove all but one of my hypotheses and thus I was able to build up a clear picture of the changing seres. The main aim of the investigation was achieved in that of showing a presents of succession at the pond. The only sere not yet developed was that of marshland but in years to come no doubt it will be clearly visible as the climax community is reached in the pond. The only extension to my project could be that of collecting more data, such as that of the total number of different plant species at each point and this would have enabled me to prove Hypothesis 2 Word Count: 1082 ...read more.

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