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An investigation in the different species of plant life through bare sand and grassland and what factors effects the growth of them.

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Introduction

An investigation in the different species of plant life through bare sand and grassland and what factors effects the growth of them. General site description Geographical location - Sheet NU04 045470 Altitude - West, I started going up the dune 2m at a time and gradually went over and went up the next dune. Aspect - I looked at the dunes on both sides and up the next one investigating the different types of plant life and on what part of the sand dune they occur. Topographical - I started off at the point that I assumed the full tide will be up to (I assumed this by looking at where the wet sand ended). I climbed the sand dune every 2m and took measurements at each base. As I went over the dune I looked at the different species of plants that occurred. Introduction The overall aim of this investigation is to investigate the different species of plants in a stretch of land stretching from where the sea comes up to on the beach then over the first dune and up to the peak of the second dune in from the sea. On the way I will have to investigate the area the different species thrive in to be able to conclude what factors affect the growth of them and prove that marram grass only grows on certain parts of the sand dunes and if it has a factor of keeping the embryo dune together.From doing past work in biology I have learned that marram grass is a xerophyte so this plant is basically keeping the dunes together but I will have to investigate if the levels are changing as I go over the dune or if its stays at a constant level. Throughout this investigation I will have to keep a fair test to make the results as accurate as possible. ...read more.

Middle

* This value gives you the water content of the soil sample. Ph test and nutrients test These tests were carried out using specific tests and the method of doing them are carried out by using the method cards. Results Site number 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Steepness (cm) -71 -82 -115 -121 -42 -27 -9 41 -2 13 33 34 Air Temperature (?C) 16 16 15 15 15 16 15 16 16 16 15 15 Soil Temperature (?C) 15 15 14 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 Wind Speed (mph) 4 4.5 3 2.5 4.5 6.5 5 7 4.5 3 3 2.5 % coverage 0 0 0 60 20 30 95 40 20 60 100 100 % marram 0 0 0 80 90 84 85 70 84 88 60 50 % lyme 0 0 0 20 10 16 15 30 16 12 20 30 % rest harrow 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 20 20 % yarrow 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 % common cats ear 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 % hawkweed 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Site number 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 Steepness (cm) 21 30 34 33 32 40 5 -38 -92 -98 -97 Air temperature (?C) 16 16 15 17 17 17 17 16 16 17 17 Soil temperature (?C) 15 14 15 15 16 16 16 15 15 15 16 Wind speed (mph) 2 2.5 2.5 2 2 2 2 2 2 2.5 2 % coverage 100 80 90 25 5 100 100 40 60 90 50 % marram 85 70 75 20 100 50 45 15 10 15 10 % lyme 9 30 15 0 0 5 10 15 10 15 10 % rest harrow 6 0 10 60 0 20 0 25 60 45 ...read more.

Conclusion

There was one problem that I thought I had with the equipment and that was that I was using a pond thermometer for recording the temperature readings which I thought was not very suitable for reading the soil temperature as I would or liked it to have a more direct contact with the sand. So this could be said to be a limitation of this experiment so I would change this if I were to do it again. There were limitations to my experiment for example when I was recording the % coverage of each plant the values were definitely not accurate due to that I was just estimating the % of each plant that was growing there just by looking at it. I found when doing the profile of the dune it was quite accurate even though it wasn't accurate to the last mm I was able to look at the sand dunes pretty accurately and it showed a good profile of the embryo dune and mobile dune that I was able to use in my analysis. My statistical test was not proven to be correct, as it was not close to1 because this would mean that there was correlation present but this was down to taking the % coverage by estimate which is not that accurate. If I were to carry out this experiment again I would of done more belt transactions of the sand dune so it could compare them as well as going over the mobile sand dune to see if this also agreed to my predictions. Another thing that I would of also did was to use more quadrants at each station so I could get a average of plant species in that area which I would think would make it more accurate due to not all of the area at each station was exactly the same so a average would be better. So to conclude from to this investigation I can say that the marram grass plays a big part of the formation of the embryo dune so other species are able to be introduced further on. ...read more.

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