• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9
  10. 10
  11. 11

Sand Dune Ecology and Conservation Course Work

Extracts from this document...


Sand Dune Ecology and Conservation Course Work Introduction Succession is the change in structure and species composition of a community over time. The succession theory shows if there is an abiotic area bare of life then something will then cover it. Usually the first species to grow there or pioneer species are weeds, this is called primary succession. Secondary succession occurs when a new factor is added or taken away, for example forest fire, sea level increase, or man made disturbances. The old species will not be suited to this change and decrease in population, which will be taken over by a species, which is suited to the new environment. After the secondary succession there are two possibilities for the ecosystem, either reach the climax community or be changed by deflected succession. At the climax community most plants are very tall and have a long life. The soil is of excellent quality and there are large animals living in the ecosystem. The other possibility is that deflected succession will take place due to management of the ecosystem usually by human activity such as farming and grazing sheep. This way the ecosystem will never reach the climax community. In this report I will be studying how succession takes place and what conditions affect the change. I will be studying the sand dune succession in the Winterton site ecosystem, which is preserved by many societies from being disturbed. Sampling Techniques Sampling is necessary to conduct a study; there are two forms of sampling data random and systematic. Random sampling is when there is an equal chance for a thing to be chosen and systematic sampling is when you choose something. In our case we were looking at a specific detail, the succession of organisms so a systematic method would be more useful. For the transect we have formed a systematic method of measuring by every major change in height. ...read more.


Ants Sand Lizard Kestrel Hyme Grass Rabbit Fox Fox Oak Squirrel Barn Owl Blue bell Butterfly Spider Ringed Plover Sheeps Fescue Sheep Humans Sea Knotgrass Shore Wainscot Moth Larvae Long winged cone head Lichen Rabbit Adder Prickly Saltwort Termites Common Lizard Meadow Pipit This is a list of some plants that were identified in the investigation: * Marram Grass * Sand couch * Sea holly * Sea Spurge * Sea Bindweed * Sea Rocket * Sea sandwort * Yellow hornet * Sea Knotgrass * Prickly Saltwort * Sheeps Fescue * Lyme grass * Lichen * Common Centaury * Heather Transfer of Energy Food Web Feeding Relationships Quantitative data on feeding relationships only shows the population of a species at each tropic level. As we move up each level on the pyramid of numbers we usually see the number decreasing as one level feeds on the other. But as you can see hear the number does not decrease as one sheep can provide for many humans. For a more accurate way of sorting data we use the qualitative method. Dry Weight (g/m ) 11 37 809 This pyramid of biomass shows us the weight of each level when all the water has been evaporated. But the problem with this pyramid is that biomass is not constant and at certain times differs due to growth or other reasons. For example animals just awoken from hibernation may only be half the weight of when they are about to go into hibernation. The pyramid of energy is shows us the amount of energy being transferred up each level. This will never be inverted as energy is always being lost as it travels up each tropic level. Justification and limitation of Sampling Techniques Transverse This is a very proficient method as the data is unbiased sampled across many different habitats. This gives a much higher probability of seeing the natural succession that occurs by studying all significant changes in gradient amongst the dune formation. ...read more.


The foxes had to live on mainly leftovers from the street rubbish bins as scavengers. This meant they were not being nourished enough so when their pups were born they did not get enough food and over time this has meant a decrease in their actual physical size. Also their role in the ecosystem has changed from hunters to scavengers and this lack of exercise and no need for strength has left them weaker and with much less muscle size as their forest counterparts. Furthermore a lifetime living with street lamps has dulled their sight, so if they were put into the forest again they would definitely not be able see as well. Evaluation of the Techniques The techniques used were overall not reliable as the site of Winterton is so vast and we only covered a tiny fraction of it. Therefore other parts of the Winterton site could have been completely different in terms of plant species but this unlikely. The sand dune profile is reliable as we could see the same sort of charts being produced by many other groups. The techniques were definitely not precise as most of the equipment were not of the highest standard. The wind measuring instrument was very poor and almost impossible to get a proper reading as the little ball which indicates wind speed is constantly moving. We should have used an annometer, which gives a digital reading. As with all the other equipment, they should have been digital and read into more exact figures not just one decimal place as some did. Our results were not very accurate as the transverse method only looked at significant changes but as we were not experts we may have missed or missed placed some of these changes in altitude. With quadrat and the tests also twenty meters may not have been the right length as on the ground level we could see changes happening at maybe every five meters. But the fact that we were not experts and we had a limited amount of time needs also to be put into perspective. Farhat Hasan Biology Unit 8 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Living Things in their Environment section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Living Things in their Environment essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Research question - Is using dogs for work ethical?

    5 star(s)

    The European Union attempted to ban all cosmetics tested on animals to be sold in Europe, but France (the country which L'Or´┐Żal is based) is protesting against the ban. This could be because animal testing can give people reassurance that the product is safe and possibly sales would fall on the cosmetics by this company.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Animal Testing

    4 star(s)

    So, anti-vivisectionists say this study proves that animal testing is unsuitable for testing human drugs. Testing Cosmetic and Household Products: Anti-vivisectionists argue that animals suffer unnecessarily for testing of luxury products and that it is not needed. In Britain animal testing for cosmetics was banned in the 1990s however the

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Balance of Food Production and Conservation

    4 star(s)

    only the plant community but also the animals that rely on them for food and shelter. Dead algae sink to the bottom and are decomposed by aerobic bacteria. This uses up a lot of dissolved oxygen (producing a high BOD).

  2. Define and describe the following: ecosystem, community, assemblage, guild, niche and habitat.

    Decomposers also feature in ecosystems, breaking down biomass into its basic elements, thus restoring nutrients to primary producers. Ecosystems also feature, in comparison to the non-cyclic and unidirectional flow of energy through food chains, the cyclic flow of minerals through the system.

  1. Branded Bleach is more effective at killing E. coli than Non branded bleach - ...

    The phase of the bacteria cell cycle the bacteria are in. It is assumed that the bacteria are in the log phase as the bacteria have been growing for at least three days. If the bacteria aren't in the log phase then the bacteria will grow and die at significantly different rates.

  2. Is the preferred habitat of moss on the North side of a Yew Tree ...

    could vary slightly and this could have influenced my results ever so slightly. But again, this would do very little if nothing to alter the trend in my results and the final conclusion. I could use the exact same quadrat every time to combat this.

  1. The effect of competition on the distribution of marram grass.

    1cm of the soil sample was placed at one end of the sample tube (both ends open). Distilled water was then added up to the blue mark, solid barium sulphate was then added until it was level with the second mark.

  2. Fungal Pathogens in Humans.

    The spectrum diseases caused by the fungus Candida is quite extensive, ranging from simple colonization of mucosal membranes to multiple organ invasion (Sugar and Lyman 1997). Due to the large range of infections caused by members of Candida, it cannot be classified as strictly cutaneous, subcutaneous, or systemic.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work