• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

ecology investigation

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Hi, My task is to plan an investigation to find out the distribution and abundance of two named species of plant in a specific habitat and to determine if this is affected by the water content of the soil. I've chosen 2 species of buttercup in a water meadow. Please could you read over it and suggest any areas for improvement. There is a word limit of ~1000 words, but mine is currently 1900! So if there are any areas you feel that I don't need please point them out! Many thanks, AN INVESTIGATION INTO HOW THE DISTRIBUTION AND ABUNDANCE OF RANUNCULUS REPENS AND RANUNCULUS BULBOSUS IN A CAMBRIDGE WATER MEADOW ARE AFFECTED BY SOIL WATER CONTENT Numerous factors exist that influence the distribution and abundance of plant populations in an ecosystem. Factors may be either abiotic, (physical characteristics of a habitat), or biotic, (caused by living organisms). This investigation will explore the effects of one abiotic factor, soil water content, on the distribution of two buttercup species, (R.repens and R.bulbosus), in a Cambridge water meadow. Differences in the environment allow species to survive over others in a habitat. The species best adapted are more likely to survive by out-competing others for vital resources. Interspecific competition is competition between different species for a particular resource in short supply and occurs when the niches of two species overlap1. (The niche of an organism is its role in the ecosystem2). ...read more.

Middle

by the river), place the 0.25m2 grid quadrat next to the tape measure. Count the number of small squares of the quadrat which contain creeping buttercup, (R.repens), and the number which contain bulbous buttercup, (R.bulbosus), using the plant identification guide if necessary. The grid quadrat is divided into 100 smaller squares and thus the number containing each plant species represents the percentage cover of the species in that area. 3. Using the trowel, dig up approximately 10g. of soil from the centre of the quadrat and store it in a sealed and labelled soil sample bag for later analysis. 4. Repeat steps 3 and 4 at 5m. intervals along the transect,up to 50m. This will allow the change in the distribution of creeping and bulbous buttercups across the water meadow to be determined, as well as changes in soil water content. 5. Repeat steps 1 - 5 twice more from different starting points, so that a total of 3 transects will have been taken across the habitat, (as shown below). Repeating the procedure will increase the validity of the results by ensuring anomalous results are noticeable and also provide more extensive evidence to which trends can be confirmed. 6. On return to the laboratory, the water content of the collected soil samples must be determined by weighing out approximately 10g. ...read more.

Conclusion

One would logically expect the water content of the soil to decrease along the transect, i.e. away from the river. Subsequently, if the prediction that R.repens prefers growing in wet soil, whilst R.bulbosus prefers growing in dry soil is correct, then one would expect to see the abundance of R.repens decrease along the transect, with the abundance of R.bulbosus increasing as one moves further away from the river. If this investigation is successful, further investigations could be conducted into the effects of other abiotic factors on the distribution of these species across such an ecosystem. For example, how changes in the pH, organic matter or mineral content of soil may affect their distribution and abundance. ~1900 Words RESOURCES - Biology 2, Mary Jones & Jennifer Gregory, OCR Cambridge University Press 2001. - Biology 1, Mary Jones, Richard Fosbery & Dennis Taylor, OCR Cambridge University Press 2000. - Environmental Biology, Michael Reiss & Jenny Chapman, OCR Cambridge University Press 2000. - Biological Science 1&2, Green, Stout & Taylor, Cambridge University Press 1997. - Environmental Science, Kevin Byrne, Nelson Thornes Press 2001. - Drawings of British Plants, Stella Ross-Craig, Bell Publishers 1948. 1 Biology 2, Mary Jones & Jennifer Gregory, OCR Cambridge University Press 2001, p32 2 Biology 1, Mary Jones, Richard Fosbery & Dennis Taylor, OCR Cambridge University Press 2000, p93 3 Environmental Biology, Michael Reiss & Jenny Chapman, OCR Cambridge University Press 2000, p85 ?? ?? ?? ?? 29 July 2009 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Miscellaneous 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 University Degree Miscellaneous essays

  1. Housing Risk Assesment

    The occupier of the rented ground floor flat, (50a Risky Row) has complained of a range of defects. The flat comprises a living room, two bedrooms, kitchen/ diner and shower room/w.c. This property has just been inspected by a Surveying Technician at Trent District Council, who has provided you with

  2. Food Standards Agency Traffic Light System

    As shown in Figure 2.1 the colour codes represent the level of each nutrient in the product; red representing a high level in the product, amber a medium level and green a low level of the nutrient. Figure 2.1 FSA's Colour coded TLS label GDA Labelling System Calories Sugars Fats

  1. Free essay

    Essential oils which contain suitable antifungal activity

    The allylamine, terbinafine is a significantly cheaper alternative as it reduces the need for on going treatment, but its mycological cure rate is also lower than that of the fungistatic azoles. Therapy of onychomycosis can be expensive, lenghtly and treatments may have many adverse effects therefore it should be diagnosed

  2. Do Institutions Matter: A Case Study of Gun Control

    This touches upon common theories like the 'logic of appropriateness' (March and Olsen, 1999), but also that actors are rational and will make choices based on their preferences (Peters, 1999). Tsebelis does provide some explanation of how this relationship between the rational actor and the institution can be explained.

  1. Horsdean traveller's site

    their areas. There are now around 320 local authority sites providing around 5000 pitches and the majority are designed for permanent residence. However, in similarity to most legislation regarding gypsy travellers, there has been much resistance to the presence of these sites.

  2. The Fire Safety Order: Better Compliance or Just More Regulation?

    nominated 2 layers of management that could be held accountable for any failure to comply with the terms of the Fire Certificate. There has been a somewhat contradictory history of case law regarding the FPA. On one hand, there have been cases where operational managers have successfully argued that they

  1. client care analysis of assessment

    This is also commonly known as a keyhole surgery. The gall bladder is a small pear-shaped organ attached to the underside of the liver. The gall bladder stores bile, which is a fluid that helps to digest fat. The bile flows into the gut along a small tube (bile duct).

  2. Determining vitamin C content in Orange Juice

    Calories and sugar content of varies samples of orange juice Name of sample juice Number of calories per serving Grams of sugar per serving Tropicana 110 per 250ml 23 Simply orange 114.6 per 250ml 24 Presidentâs choice 100% juice 120 per 250ml 23 Minute maid frozen concentrate 120 per 250ml

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