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To investigate whether pollution affects the diversity of aquatic invertebrate species.

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Introduction

Dyke Dipping Aim: To investigate whether pollution affects the diversity of aquatic invertebrate species. Equipment: Wash tub, Smaller Margerine Tub Plastic Spoon, Milk Container, Net, Species Analysis Chart. The wash tub has the perfect surface area to count the animals without imprisoning them, the smaller margerine tub allows for the animals to be more carefully analysed so that their species can be more easily determined, the spoons are the perfect size to remove the animals individually, using the milk container is much easier than filling up the wash tub with water because if we had to fill the tub itself up, we could fall in, and the net is designed with a tight enough mesh to capture the very miniature creatures, wihout having to bend down and scoop them out ourselves Method: Fill the milk container with water from the first, unpolluted dyke, and tip the contents into the wash tub. Repeat this two or three times, in order to provide sufficient depth to support the creatures from the dyke. Stand on secure ground near to the dyke so as to not slip in, and sweep the net in the dyke and empty the net into the wash tub with the dyke water in it. ...read more.

Middle

The Nitrates and Phosphates cause lots of plants to grow on the floor of the dyke and algae to grow on the surface. The algae blocks out sunlight which kills some species of aquatic animals aswell as all the plants along the bottom of the dyke. The plants on the bottom play an important role in the delicate balance of the dyke's ecosystem, as many habitats and breeding sites, which will exterminate certain species. All of these circumstances make surviving in this polluted dyke very difficult, and this is why I think there will be a lower amount of different animals living in this dyke. In the non-polluted dyke, there are many more species that have to live on a similar amount of food. They have to compete for food - but not just food. There is less space to make a habitat, more competition for a mate, and general living space, again has to be fought for. This means that every species has a limited amount that can be sustained at any time. In coming to this deduction, I consulted many sources. I read many textbooks on the subject. I searched the internet for some information, although I found not many items of worth.The staff at the Carlton Marshes nature ...read more.

Conclusion

appearance in the polluted dyke was due to the time of year, and that had we undergone this experiment a few weeks later, there would have been none. This caused me to consider how the time of year affects the appearance of other species in both dykes. If the time was available to me, I would like to carry out the experiment once at the beginning of every other month and record how the number of different species and the number of these species changes throughout the year. I imagine that the polluted dyke would have an even lower number of different species in the summer months, because at this time, the algae would become almost like a sheet across the top of the water, and this would block out the sunlight, leading to the death of the plants along the bed of the dyke, and consequentially, the loss of much habitat and reproduction grounds. This would cause those species that could survive to thrive even more than the figure we have recovered today. I believe the adverse effect would occur in the clean dyke, in that there will be more different types of species residing, but a fewer number of them would be able to be sustained by the dyke. ...read more.

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