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Estimating the population of non-grass plants on the school fields.

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Introduction

Teaching group: Priestly Subject: Biology Teacher: Mrs Lucas Tutor group: 10 C Estimating the population of non-grass plants on the school fields. Aim The aim of this investigation is to investigate the the school fields and their population. Also to estimate the amount (population) of the plants that are present on the school premisses and so test the theory of Evolution and see how plants adapt to the environment in this particular area. Method When I thought about which is the best way to do this estimation I found that their are a lot of different rout ways that will lead to the same result. I also realized that many desigeons will have to be taken to make a full plan. I tried to chose a way that would have produced the most reliable results and would be possible for me to perform in the time that I have to do the field work. Straight away it was clear that I would not be able to count each and every plants that grows in the school premisses, I will take too long to do. Even the title says the I should estimate and not count the population of school fields. Their is only an other sensible method that promises to give accurate results, this is sampling the area, and this should give an idea about the rest of the area. I decided to use this method, at the end I will take the average of the plants found and times it to find the total for all the area tested. Here an other quite significant problem came. How do I decide to take my smples, it will be hard to randomly establish the samples. The problem was that the school fields have no set shape, so it will even be very hard to work out the area in which I will take the samples. ...read more.

Middle

Different plants Plantain Daisy Buttercups Clover Dandy Lions Sample Numbers 1 9 5 2 1, 400 8 2 18 8 1 3, 500 6 3 21 6 2 3, 600 0 4 18 5 0 1, 900 2 5 4 45 0 7, 800 4 6 5 1 3 900 1 7 30 2 1 100 0 8 20 40 0 1, 800 1 9 6 25 0 35 5 10 0 32 0 100 7 Total 131 169 9 21, 135 34 Average (total/ 10) 13.1 16.9 0.9 2, 113.5 3.4 Estimation of population of plant in the rugby pitch (Average* 6402) 83, 866 108, 194 5, 762 13, 533, 188 21, 767 I found that counting Clover in the 10 cm by 10 cm sample was very useful because in many quadrants there was a huge number of clovers, as you can see from most of the estimations. The number of clovers in the 9th quadrant is not a miss print. I found that in this quadrant I could count it without the sample in the sample because there were be so few. With other kinds of plants there was not always a similar result, too. This dose not have to mean that the results are unreliable, because it all depend on the quadrants and I did not even expect all the results to be similar. This just indicates to me that the school field do not have the plant population distributed evenly over them. Analysis Firstly I will show how I worked out some of the averages in the table above. The total was calculated by adding all the numbers of plants that were counted in each quadrant. This was a necessary step to calculating the averages. Here is an exaple of how I calculated the total, this is for the Plantain: 9+18+21+18+4+5+30+20+6+0=131 After calculating this for all the different kinds of plants I was able to work out the Average. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is not because of any incertansies in the plant, but because of lack in number of samples, I cannot trust my evidence. The results are as fair as I could get them, I think that the calculator gives random numbers and my quardinates do look evenly spread. There were some camomile on the rugby pitch, not in our sample, but still it shows that the plants may not only be counted wrongly, but also not all kinds of plants were taken into account. This shows that the samples we took were defiantly not enough because not even all kinds of plants were seen in the samples. There are a lot of thinks that can extend this investigation. I would do a lot more samples, to get at least 1% of the whole area. I think that this is the absolute minimum that could give reliable evidence and idea about the rest of the area. I good idea would to be samples on other rugby pitches or other fields. Counting the big trees would not take a lot of time but would give a better idea about the whole area. Samples from the other area, like banking could be taken, it is not only un-cut grass but many other plants that I am struggling to name. I found out that weather effects the population of plants, to do this we would need to take the sample in different year or even all year round. It would be interesting to see how the population changes in different seasons and weather conditions. We have seen that mowing is one factor that effected the plant population may be their are many more. Acid rain could be effecting it or other things that we study in science. One more thing is, that we could compeer the population of our school to other schools, and see which one gives more attention to natural resources. All of this is relatyively possible to do but it would take up too much time, that we do not have. 2 ...read more.

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