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An experiment to investigate the species diversity in non-trampled and trampled areas.

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Introduction

An experiment to investigate the species diversity in non-trampled and trampled areas. ABSTRACT My investigation concerns all plants found in the grass and was carried out to find the difference in the species diversity in non-trampled and trampled areas. The data was collected on the Wimbledon and Putney commons in two exact places relatively close together. The alternative hypothesis predicts a correlation between the diversity of species on trampled and non-trampled areas. To collect data to support or dismiss the hypothesis, I first performed a preliminary investigation. A 20m tape measure was set out across the trampled area and at every 2m interval (2m, 4m, 6m etc) a 0.25m2 quadrat was laid down and the species counted. In the same quadrat a measurement of soil depth was taken. This was carried out by pushing a knitting needle into the soil in the middle of the quadrat with a thumb. This method was repeated in exactly the same way in the non-trampled area. The results were that there was no significant difference between the species diversity in trampled and non-trampled areas. A MannWhitney 'U' test was used to find the correlation, the critical value for n1 was 10 and the same for n2, the smallest 'U' value was less than 23, which meant that the null hypothesis was accepted. INTRODUCTION I went to Wimbledon and Putney common on a cold, wet and windy day the temperature was approximately 10oC. This variable meant that there were not as many people in the park as there usually was but mainly the people out to walk their dogs. The area that I carried out my investigation was near the windmill, which is one of the busiest places in the park because there is a caf´┐Ż and a car park a minute away. This was a suitable place to take data from because it matched the criteria of counting the species found in trampled areas. ...read more.

Middle

100mm COMMENTS: The preliminary work gave me the opportunity to work with different apparatus, so I could learn how to use them to gain the most accurate results for my own investigation. METHOD OF MY INVESTIGATION: My plan was to count the diversity of species on trampled and non-trampled ground to see if there is a correlation. I will first gather all my equipment, so I can have it all at hand when it is required. The equipment I will need is: * A 20m measuring tape * 0.25m2 quadrat * 30cm ruler * spatula * containers * needle * notebook and pencil. Tha venue for my investigation will be on Wimbledon and Putney Commons (see enclosed map). I will go to my chosen area on the common, which is where there is non-trampled and trampled land for 20m. I have chosen this length because it will produce enough data to get an average from and it gives a more accurate representation of each section that I am investigating. This length can compensate for any areas of grass that that do not contain a sufficient amount of different species. Having a large area to investigate will decrease that chances of any anomolies that might occur. I have also chosen this area, because it is a small enough area for me to complete investigating within the time allocated. I will lay out my 20m tape measure along an area of trampled land. I will fix my tape in place with two ranging poles, preventing the tape measure moving out of place and also investigating the wrong area. The tape meaure will be laid no more than 10m away from where the non-trampled area will be measured. This distance is short enough between the two areas to ensure that the two areas have the same variables affecting them. I will start my investigation in the trampled area. ...read more.

Conclusion

The reason for there not being an increase in the number of species is that all the species that were found were all competing for nutrients in the soil. My non-trampled area was relatively close to a line of trees. This could be another reason why there was not a significant difference in species. Trees are large plants that have very thick, long roots. Having trees and small plants in the same area can inhibit diversity because the trees will be taking up more nutrients from the soil, which means that there is more competition for water and nutrients hence there not being a large amount of species. The trees also provide shade, some of the species found prefer shaded areas but this may inhibit some other plants growing. For some plants, shade means that there is not enough photosynthesis happening. Photosynthesis is the process by which plants and some bacteria use the energy from sunlight to produce sugar, which cellular respiration converts into ATP. Critical analysis: the reliability of my results was reduced by the fact that I only had a short period of time to complete collecting my data and had no chance to repeat it in other trampled and non-trampled areas, I could have possible used areas by a pond that are trampled and non-trampled because this would have provided moisture which would have brought about different species. The reliability of my results is further reduced by the variables that I could have studied and controlled. Although I did get a chance to measure the pH of the soil, I did not check it at every quadrat, for any reason there could have been a change in pH such as the spillage of a liquid or chemicals by some cars. Limitations: There was not enough time or equipment to repeat the experiment. Repetition would have given me a wide range of results and maybe there might have been a wide range of species diversity. I should have read the pH in every station to give me more accurate results. Reference: Websites: www.google.co.uk www.biologymad.com www.s-cool.co.uk www.wikipidia.co.uk ...read more.

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

4 star(s)

This is a well written and structured report.
1. There is a lot of running commentary that should be removed. The subheadings are enough to lead the reader through the sections.
2. The statistical tests have been carried out well.
3. The analysis should back up the claims by quoting data from the investigation.
4. The report needs to have an evaluation that concentrates several sections from earlier in the report.
****

Marked by teacher Luke Smithen 23/07/2013

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