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Effect of coppicing on Abundance of Violets.

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Introduction

Effect of coppicing on Abundance of Violets PLAN Introduction A natural woodland ecosystem contains rich sources of wood such as oak and beech that humans want to exploit. It contains a stable community of plants, insects and birds. Coppicing is a method of cutting trees near the bottom and allowing them to grow with many branches at the bottom. This is designed to be more efficient for man but allows this climax community to exist as naturally as possible. It could also be proved to benefit wildlife such as increased nesting places for birds. This cycle has been implanted in the woodlands on Weald clay wild in Sussex. A woodland ecosystem is made up of four layers, starting from the top, canopy, shrubs, herbaceous layer and the ground layer. A lot of the time these intermix and it can be difficult to distinguish. Pale wood violets (viola reichenbachiana) are perennial plants that grow in hedges and banks in areas of deciduous woodland. Due to its high phenotypic plasticity (grows along hedgerows and woodlands), they are abundant in coppiced areas. Woodland Violet is a low growing plant and can be identified by their pale heart-shaped leaves. The flowers are violet (with dark purple veins). Early Dog Violet are another type of violet which are very hard to distinguish that also grow in woods and shady habitats among the pale wood violets. Violets are sciophytes (shade loving plants), growing under the herbaceous layer. They flower during March-May. Violets are adapted to these shady conditions by having thin and flat dark leaves. This allows as much sunlight to be absorbed so more photosynthesis takes place. The few layers of cells so that light reaches the chlorenchyma tissue where all the photosynthesising cells are. The dark leaves show the high amount of packed chloroplast. The rate of photosynthesis depends on many factors: (i) the light intensity (ii) ...read more.

Middle

I located my first co-ordinate on the random numbers list. 3) The point quadrat was placed parallel to x-axis and I counted how many hits there were 4) Probe of light intensity meter was placed in the soil and read. This method is uncomplicated and did not interfere with any other limiting factors of photosynthesis such as humidity or temperature. RESULTS I collected 30 samples of data for each subset. Here is the results table. Table for plot 1993 plot Table for 1997 plot Quadrat No. Va-1993 light-1993 light%-1993 Quadrat No. Va-1997 light-1997 light%-1997 1 1 3130 40.49 1 1 5510 71.28 2 2 3260 42.17 2 1 4440 57.44 3 3 3300 42.69 3 7 5380 69.60 4 1 3230 41.79 4 10 6510 84.22 5 0 3050 39.46 5 10 6500 84.09 6 0 3000 38.81 6 9 6100 78.91 7 4 3850 49.81 7 0 1190 15.39 8 4 3840 49.68 8 8 6250 80.85 9 0 3110 40.23 9 6 5730 74.13 10 5 3790 49.03 10 1 1340 17.34 11 2 3300 42.69 11 10 5060 65.46 12 0 2990 38.68 12 1 5420 70.12 13 8 4240 54.85 13 1 1170 15.14 14 3 3290 42.56 14 1 5580 72.19 15 1 3040 39.33 15 5 5500 71.15 16 2 3360 43.47 16 9 6430 83.18 17 3 3440 44.50 17 9 6300 81.50 18 3 4040 52.26 18 7 5270 68.18 19 2 3600 46.57 19 8 6180 79.95 20 2 3250 42.04 20 6 5850 75.68 21 5 3750 48.51 21 4 3790 49.03 22 1 3120 40.36 22 1 4500 58.21 23 1 2920 37.77 23 0 1180 15.27 24 4 3840 49.68 24 2 3540 45.80 25 0 3000 38.81 25 8 6200 80.21 26 2 3280 42.43 26 1 4320 55.89 27 0 3990 51.62 27 3 3820 49.42 28 3 3900 50.45 28 7 5890 76.20 29 1 3020 39.07 29 6 4990 64.55 30 2 3210 41.53 30 10 6610 85.51 ...read more.

Conclusion

This will provide the truest light intensity falling on the leaves where it is absorbed mainly. The main problem was blocking of light and I should have investigated further into it. Sometimes logs were in the way and I was not sure whether to move them as I did not know how long they were there and whether they could have affected the light intensity. However results were still quite reliable as the light meter was very sensitive so showed the exact lux reading. Putting light into a quantitative form made it much easier to compare and draw conclusions from. The point quadrat proved to be quite reliable as sometimes there was a lot of violets which would easily have been counted twice but because the points were at distances there was no chance of this happening. It was virtually impossible to reach some places because of closed off areas or thick bramble and shrubs. I could tell these areas were not part of the coppiced area because there were no tree stumps. I should have covered another area of 30 X 30 M to get more fruitful results. In addition as a control I could have taken some readings of other factors like humidity and soil pH in an similar area (a 1995 coppiced plot) just to see there were no bizarre readings that could be the sole cause of my anomalies and not the light. I must also take more readings, at least 60 each to double the accuracy. My results were very significant where t-test value = 3.90 (2.d.p) making the conclusion 99.999% certain. Due to its high significance anomalies are invalidated and do not affect the conclusion I made. Statistically Hi: p>0 and H?: p=0. We can see clearly that 0.783 is above 0 that shows the alternative hypothesis must be accepted and also there is a high positive correlation between the bivariate data (light and abundance). It is very certain that the fact light will not have a relationship with violet abundance will always be rejected in this coppiced woodland environment. ...read more.

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