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Investigating the distribution of Pleurococcus on trees.

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Biology Coursework Pleurococcus Investigation Aim: Investigating The Distribution Of Pleurococcus On Trees Intro: Pleurococcus is a single celled organism, and is also a type of algae. It can be found growing on outdoor surfaces such as trees, stones and fences. Pleurococcus utilizes photosynthesis to obtain the energy it needs and it reproduces asexually. This means a pleurococcus cell will grow bigger and bigger until finally it splits into two identical cells. This process is called mitosis. Hypothesis: I believe that the largest distribution of pleurococcus will be found on the south side of trees we study. I think this because more sunlight will come from the south, that can be used in photosynthesis by the algae. Method First of all a quadrat of around 100 cm2 (10 cm by 10 cm)


The 4 Sides Of 3 Trees Results Table Distribution of pleurococcus North South East West Tree 1 70 % 10 % 0 % 20 % Tree 2 60 % 25 % 0 % 40 % Tree 3 38% 31 % 26 % 5 % Tree 4 100 % 80 % 50 % 45 % How thickly spread the algae was out of 5 North South East West Tree 1 2 1 0 1 Tree 2 3 1 1 2 Tree 3 2 1 0 2 Conclusion Our results show that pleurococcus prefers to grow more on the North sides of trees than on any other side and with a greater density. From the North side, pleurococcus would obtain more moisture than on any other side but would receive less sunlight than if it were on the South side.


It took me a bit of time to realise that the tree had been in the shade and so the test wasn't fair on that particular tree. One thing that could have been improved was my quadrat. It had a 100cm2 (10 cm by 10 cm) area with cms marked at the side of the quadrat. However to get a more accurate reading, I could have strips of paper marking each sq cm out. Then each filled square would be 1 %. Also to measure 1m up the tree I used a piece of string measured to around 1m. A more accurate method, bypassing this aspect of possible human error, would be to use a laser measurer or light meter. Another experiment relevant to pleurococcus is to investigate what type of tree the algae prefer to grow on - hardwood or softwood. Seeing our sample trees I think that the algae grows on hardwood like oak but to be proved it would have to be fully investigated.

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