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The effect of competition on the distribution of marram grass.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The effect of competition on the distribution of marram grass A transect was measured out at a 90� angle to the shoreline. Along this transect 2 sites were chosen a mobile and fixed dune. At each zone a sampling area of 20m x 20m was measured out using measuring tape. The measuring tapes were then used as references (x/y axis) so that co-ordinates from a table of random numbers were easily found. A random number table is a list of numbers, the first number lower than 20 in the first column on the table is the x-axis co-ordinate, and the second number lower than 20 will be the y-axis co-ordinate. This was the best way to select an unbiased sample so every species had an equal probability of being selected. At the fist 5 co-ordinates an optimum quadrat size was calculated. A range of quadrat sizes e.g. 10cm x 10cm, 20cm x 20cm, 30cm x 30cm, 40cm x 40cm, 50cm x 50cm and 1m x 1m, were used at each co-ordinate and the numbers of species were counted. The average species count for each quadrat was then calculated. Sum of plant species Amount of samples taken = Average species count This data was then used to make a graph in which species number was on the y-axis and the quadrat size on the x-axis. ...read more.

Middle

1.00 Self-heal 10 1.00 Moss 15 20 1 40 30 20 25 20 17.10 Daisy 4 0.40 Orchid 5 0.50 Milkwort 5 0.50 Yorkshire fog 5 25 20 10 6.00 Thyme 5 0.50 Bare sand 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 Optimum quadrat size Mobile dune Number of species (Quadrat sizes (cm)) Quadrat no 10 x 10 20 x 20 30 x 30 40 x 40 50 x 50 100 x 100 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 2 2 3 3 4 3 1 1 1 1 2 2 4 2 2 2 2 2 3 5 1 2 2 2 3 3 MEAN 1.4 1.8 1.8 2 2.4 2.8 Fixed dune Number of species (Quadrat sizes (cm)) Quadrat no 10 x 10 20 x 20 30 x 30 40 x 40 50 x 50 100 x 100 1 3 3 5 5 6 7 2 2 3 3 4 4 5 3 2 2 3 3 5 6 4 1 1 2 4 4 5 5 2 3 3 3 5 7 MEAN 2 2.4 3.2 3.8 4.8 6 Abiotic factors Mobile dune Abiotic Factor Co-ordinate1 Co-ordinate2 Co-ordinate3 Co-ordinate4 Co-ordinate5 MEAN Wind Speed/ 1ms-1 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 pH 7 7.5 8 7 8 7.5 Light intensity H H H H H H Infiltration (cm3/minute) ...read more.

Conclusion

So this may make the difference between the areas even greater or perhaps less. The wind changes all the time, the wind will of probably of changed speed as the day progressed. The wind varies so much, it is impossible to measure in such a small time. The % cover was judged by humans and there judgement is never 100% correct and varies between people. Getting more time to study the plants, or having a plant expert in each group would make sure all the species were recorded correctly in each transect. The pH and wind speed difference between the two areas was only small, this difference is so small it cannot possibly be causing the huge vegetation difference between the two areas. Perhaps the change in the environment between the two areas is not greatly affected by any one variable, but is due to all the small differences in all the variables. My data would suggest this as there is no great difference in the factors I have recorded except infiltration rates. There may be a variable such as sunlight or CO2 levels that I have not recorded that affects these areas also. Other variables not accounted for include human activity such as tourists and walkers trampling on the vegetation. This can cause huge damage to the ecosystem, as do rabbits burrowing holes in the sand. Both these factors can cause huge blow-outs where little vegetation can survive. ...read more.

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