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Measuring the diversity of plant species in an area.

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Design Defining the Problem and Selecting Variables Aim Our aim was to figure out the diversity of the location for each given specie we were given. We found diversity by finding the plant species percent cover, plant population density, plant species, and the percent frequency. Introduction We were given a map with different plant species drawn on it and asked to evaluate the diversity of the location of both the plants on it. We also had to come up with the whole procedure and use our knowledge to conduct this experiment on a simulated environment. Controlling Variables Since this was in a simulated environment, there were really no controlling variables. However, should this have been done in a real environment, there would be many, like the time of day, the climatical conditions, the size of the quadrat, the stratified sampling, and many other things. Developing a Method of Collecting Data Procedure 1. Get a map of the region. 2. Work out the scale factor from actual to map size. 3. Cut out a quadrat frame from a piece of paper, making sure the hole within the frame measures 6 cm by 6 cm (base x height). 4. Number every plant within the map, separating the numbering by each species. 5. Use a random number generator to obtain 3 numbers each for each of the given species. ...read more.


1: Average Area for Each Plant Plant species Estimated Area Arctostaphylos 1.95 Ceonothos 1.06 Pinus 1.47 Populous 1.94 Salix 0.59 Table 2: Finding the Percent Cover Scale: one centimeter = one meter One Quadrat = 36 m2 Quadrat Species Quantity Sum of Area Percent Cover 1 Arctostaphylos -- -- -- Ceonothos -- -- -- Pinus 0.5 .735 2.00 Populous 3.0 5.82 16.2 Salix 5.0 2.95 8.20 2 Arctostaphylos -- -- -- Ceonothos -- -- -- Pinus 1.5 2.205 6.10 Populous 4.0 7.76 22.0 Salix 2.5 1.48 4.10 3 Arctostaphylos -- -- -- Ceonothos -- -- -- Pinus 5.0 7.35 20.4 Populous -- -- -- Salix -- -- -- 4 Arctostaphylos 5.0 9.75 27.1 Ceonothos 1.5 1.59 4.40 Pinus 3.0 4.41 12.3 Populous -- -- -- Salix -- -- -- 5 Arctostaphylos 2.0 3.90 10.8 Ceonothos 1.0 1.06 2.90 Pinus 2.0 2.94 8.20 Populous -- -- -- Salix -- -- -- Table 3: Finding the Population Density Species # of Plants in all 5 quadrats Pop. Density for 1 m2 Pop. Density for 100 m2 Arctostaphylos 7 0.039 3.9 Ceonothos 2.5 0.014 1.4 Pinus 12 0.067 6.7 Populous 7 0039 3.9 Salix 7.5 0.042 4.2 Table 4: Finding Species % Frequency Species Raw Mode Raw Frequency Percent Frequency Arctostaphylos 2 0.4 40 Ceonothos 3 0.6 60 Pinus 5 1.0 100 Populous 2 0.4 40 Salix 2 0.4 40 Analysis For finding the raw area of each specie, acrtostaphylos had the highest area of the five different species, with 1.95 metres squared area. ...read more.


Populus, salix, and acrtostaphylos have a low percent frequency of 40% each, meaning that they were only found in 2 of the 5 samples. Conclusion Evaluating Procedure This procedure was all hypothetical, leaving a lot of room for errors. None of this data was conducted on real land but all hypothetically on a map, rendering the data very reliable. Also, the tests could have been more frequent with more quantity. Five quadrat spots was a very small sample and could make the data less reliable. When finding the average area of each plant; only 3 plants were sampled, which is very little for this map. To make the data more reliable, there should be a more accurate way of testing average size of each plant. Also maturity of the plant wasn't taken into account. With nature, there are all of things that would need to be controlled that cannot physically be controlled. Because we are testing on nature, there is a lot of room for error and that validity goes down even further. Improving the Investigation This investigation could be improved in many ways. For example, one method of improving the investigation is introducing more kinds of species within the ecosystem, to further simulate an ecosystem more efficiently. Another item of improvement is to increase the amount of sampling done from 5 times to a greater number, like 20. That would increase accuracy a lot. You could also introduce different sizes of trees within the system, as to make more of an accurate representation of the system. ...read more.

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