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Plan for a Biodiversity Ecological Investigation: Organic Farming versus Conventional Farming

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Introduction

Biodiversity Ecological Investigation: Organic Farming versus Conventional Farming Hypothesis: I think that biodiversity will be higher on an organic farm compared to a conventional farm. I think this because organic farms do not use man made pesticides/herbicides whereas conventional farms do. I believe this will result in higher biodiversity, as there will be a larger variation of organisms and a higher overall population of organisms. Also this means that there will be higher biodiversity in the surrounding area as there will be no chemical run-off and fewer organisms will affected as fewer dangerous chemicals will enter the food chain and be passed down. I think that this and other contributing factors such as light intensity; soil type/pH and climate will affect the biodiversity at the two farms. Prediction: I predict that there will be a higher biodiversity in the organic farm than on the conventional farm. Equipment: Sweepnet-To catch low-flying insects such as Butterflies and Moths Quadrat-To determine a set area in which to count the number of species found Pooter-To collect insects in Methylated Spirits- o kill collected insects Dish-To collect insects in (part of a pitfall trap) ...read more.

Middle

Mark the insects using the pen you brought and release them slightly outside of your trap. Repeat this the next day in the same location. Count the number of pre-marked insects this can be used to calculate the total population size. Calculate the total population size by using the follow equation total population size=(number captured on 1st visit*number captured on 2nd visit) ÷ the number recaptured. Repeat this in the other field. Sweepnet Method: Select a random location in the field this can be done by turning the field into a grid and using the random number function on a modern calculator in order to create a co-ordinate where you can use your sweepnet. Swish your net slowly and gently from side to side, in a figure of eight gesture, above the top of the grass/plants Once You have caught something turn your net upside-down so it cannot escape Record the insects you have collected and identify them using the key. ...read more.

Conclusion

Pooter Method: Fill the bottom of your pooter with methylated spirits or a suitable replacement Select a random location in the field this can be done by turning the field into a grid and using the random number function on a modern calculator in order to create a co-ordinate where you can place a quadrat. Place your quadrat in the ground gently Using your pooter, place it above any insect you see within your quadrat and suck in gently Remove the insects from the pooter with gloves Count the number of different insect you find within your pooter, identifying them with the key Repeat this in at least 10 random locations Calculate the average biodiversity by adding up all of your findings and dividing by the number of readings you took. Repeat this in the other field. Risk Assessment: There are few risks involved with this experiment. The main risk is the methylated spirits as they are poisonous so shouldn?t be drunk, and should not be in contact with skin. As in all experiments long hair must be tied back, and the proceedings should be taken with care. ...read more.

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