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An investigation into the effects of burning on heather moorland.

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Introduction

Coursework- An investigation into the effects of burning on heather moorland As you can see from the results and graphs, there is much more Calluna than Vaccinium in both the Burnt area and the unburnt area. In the burnt area there is just over twice as much calluna as there is vaccinium. In the unburnt area there is far much more calluna than vaccinium. Communities consist of individuals living together. Competition occurs whenever two or more individuals have to share resources in short supply. Competition between members of two different species, like the competition between the Calluna plant and the Vaccinium plant, is called interspecific competition. The calluna plant has small pine leaves so it reduces transpiration. There is a smaller surface area so less transpiration occurs. The vaccinium plant has larger leaves so has a larger surface area, therefore more photosynthesis can occur. The competition between vaccinium and calluna is for nutrients from the soil, sunlight, and space. Species distribution does not necessarily remain constant over long periods of time. After the moorland is burnt the plants will have to begin growing there again. The first species to colonise bare ground like this are called pioneer plants. ...read more.

Middle

This means that where the two species have been growing for many years and no burning has taken place, the vaccinium grows better when there is no calluna present. Whereas on the graph for the burnt moorland, when there is a peak of calluna, there often also is a peak of vaccinium, which means that when the area has been burnt and the species have recently grown back, the two plants grow better when they are both present. This may be the calluna being helped by the vaccinium or the vaccinium being helped by the calluna. In the unburnt area there are far more plants of all kinds. The calluna and the vaccinium are both more prominent in the unburnt area than they are in the burnt area. However in the burnt area the vaccinium plants are not outnumbered by the calluna plants by as high a percentage. If we went to the moorland closer to the time when the burning had taken place, there would have been more vaccinium than calluna, or possible no calluna at all. This is because some plants such as vaccinium are better adapted for living in conditions where the ground is in poor condition and there are fewer nutrients. ...read more.

Conclusion

/ 50 = 36 E = (39x4) / 50 = 3 Vaccinium Absent E = (11x46) / 50 = 10 E = (11x4) / 50 = 1 Burnt Observed Value Calluna Present Calluna Absent Row Total Vaccinium Present 39 1 40 Vaccinium Absent 5 5 10 Column Total 44 6 Grand Total = 50 Expected Value Calluna Present Calluna Absent Vaccinium Present E = (40x44) / 50 = 35 E = (40x6) / 50 = 5 Vaccinium Absent E = (10x44) / 50 = 9 E = (10x6) / 50 = 1 Chi Squared ?� = ? (O-E)� / E Unburned ?� = ? (35-36)� / 36 + (4-3)� / 3 + (11-10)� / 10 + (4-1)� / 1 = 9.5 Burnt ?� = ? (39-35)� / 35 + (1-5)� / 5 + (5-9)� / 9 + (5-1)� / 1 = 21.4 Critical Value Critical value = 3.84 (at the 5% accuracy level) The value calculated (i.e. 21.4) is greater than the critical value (i.e. 3.84) then there is a significant difference between the observed and expected value. As the observed value is greater than the expected value it is possible to say that vaccinium and calluna are associated i.e. they grow together more often than could be expected by chance. The null hypotheses is rejected. ...read more.

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