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Extrapolation of Abundance of Dandelions in a Named Area

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The Number of Dandelions Present in the Principal's Garden Zack Lindahl IB3b 2007-09-20 Aim The aim of this laboration was to approximate how many dandelion plants were present in the Principal's Garden of Katedralskolan. Hypothesis An estimation of the number of dandelion within the total area of the garden was reached by counted in a 1m by 1m area of the garden, that were extrapolated to the total amount of dandelions in the garden, which was 7,500 specimen. Variables Independent: The location of the quadrates. The locations of quadrates were chosen at random Dependant: Number of dandelions. It was measured using quadrate sampling. Controlled: Size of total area. The total area of the garden was assumed to be a rectangle Size of quadrate. The size of quadrate was set at 100m2 and 6 quadrates equaled 11,1% of the total area. Time. The laboration took place on two separate dates with 5 days in between. List of materials 4 pencils Measuring tape Procedure The total area of the garden was calculated through measuring two sides of the garden which resulted in 5400m2. ...read more.


Chart with location of examined quadrates with the coverage of the Principal's Villa Results Number of dandelions in the Principal's Garden: Square 2; 51+60+212+90 Square 9; 10+35+53+38 Square 16; 67+60+33+9 Square 52; 194+106+40+64 Square 42; 165+60+57+78 Square 34; 58+80+0 Analysis of results Sum of dandelions within examined area: 51+60+212+90 = 413 10+35+53+38 = 136 67+60+33+9 = 169 194+106+40+64 = 404 165+60+57+78 = 360 58+80+0 = 138 413+136+169+404+360=1620 Dandelions within total area: 1620�10= 16200 Conclusion According to the calculations there were 16,200 dandelions in the Principal's Garden. This result was gained through extrapolation of the number of dandelions we found within the 6 quadrates that were randomly chosen. The conclusion was, according to information gained in class, credible as it was sufficient in size at 11,1% of total area, and random via the use of lottery. The original hypothesis was 7,500 dandelions and was erroneous due to human error to estimate varying presence of dandelions in different parts of the garden and due to the small size of the sampled ground. ...read more.


The major uncertainty was caused by human error while counting the dandelions. The participants had a hard time distinguishing dandelions from other plants, or were not able to see them clearly due to other growth around it such as grass, leaves and gravel. As up to 4 participants counted by hand at the same time, there is a strong possibility for some specimens being counted twice. These errors could have cause an invalid result. This could have been avoided by using pre-constructed quadrates which created clear boundaries for the participants to heed to, but would only solve the problem partially. Picking the dandelions as you count them would solve it, but create more problems as it would change the dependant variable. Marking each dandelion with an environmental-friendly marker would also solve part of the problem. While being a viable solution, it makes the exercise very time consuming. In sum, there was a few measuring uncertainties that had small influence on the result that they were discarded and a major uncertainty involving human error while counting the number of dandelions in the Principal's Garden. ...read more.

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