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Investigating the habitat of woodlice.

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Introduction

Investigating the habitat of woodlice Aim: Our aim in this experiment is to observe what type of habitat woodlice prefer. Introduction: In this piece of coursework, I will be carrying out an investigation to find out which habitats do woodlice like best. I will investigate the different types of habitats woodlice are commonly found in and try to recreate the locations in this experiment. My aim is to have an idea of the types of habitats woodlice prefer and understand why it is so. Background information: Woodlice fall into the class, Crustacea. Other crustacea include crabs and lobsters. Most crustacean animals are aquatic, which means they live in or around water. This only occurs to some woodlice, as most are terrestrial. Woodlice are among the only crustacea to live successfully on land. But they still carry some of the characteristics of crustacea. They prefer damp places, as their non-waterproof shells cannot stay in dry places for too long, because they cannot keep the moisture in. For this reason, Woodlice must remain in wet places to maintain their moisture. Most woodlice feed upon dead or rotting vegetation, or the microbial flora which live on such materials. Because of this, they can be found under decomposing wood. Woodlice are negatively phototaxis which means they are reluctant to be in light. ...read more.

Middle

Apparatus: * Choice chamber This had four sections separated by four low walls. The walls were of this design to allow the woodlice to climb freely over them in order to explore another part of the chamber. * Woodlice * Watch This is to measure the time, so we may allow the same amount for each experiment. * Different Materials Sand, wood shredding, dead leaves and twigs. * Black sugar paper This was cut into a semi-circle intended for the light/dark experiment. Method: As I was not in school for the experiment, I have relied on my friend's account in order to do my method. Moisture test The aim in this test was to decide which type of dampness woodlice prefer. The material used to keep a constant condition was dried soil. There were four different types of dampness in each of the segments in the choice chamber. Putting the soil in first, we then added water to each section. These were: 1) completely dry, without any water at all, 2) quite damp, 3) damp, 4) very damp. When we did this test, we tried to be careful in making sure that the soil was not too moist, in case one of the woodlice should die. We then added the woodlice and placed them in the choice chamber. ...read more.

Conclusion

More of the woodlice prefer dead leaves, as I correctly guessed in my prediction. Conclusion: In completion of this coursework, I have learnt that woodlice do indeed prefer the dark, damp and dead leaves habitat. I found out that woodlice do not mind the dry habitat, though I think that they would have done otherwise if they were given a larger area to explore. Evaluation: Though I was not in to do the final experiment, I took part in a test experiment before the concluding experiment. I found that the one I took part in was enjoyable as it was fascinating to learn about a common creature. I think that if I did take part in the concluding experiments, I would have taken more readings to support the evidence more. In order to improve my accuracy, I could have maybe used a few more woodlice (about 5 more) in order to reduce my chance of fault. I could have also taken another person's results in order to compare them with mine. If they were similar, I would have been more assured of these results. Other than that, I'm sure the experiment was interesting and the results came out as predicted, so I have achieved my aim, in figuring out which type of habitat do woodlice prefer. ...read more.

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