An experiment to investigate the species diversity in non-trampled and trampled areas.

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An experiment to investigate the species diversity in non-trampled and trampled areas.


My investigation concerns all plants found in the grass and was carried out to find the difference in the species diversity in non-trampled and trampled areas. The data was collected on the Wimbledon and Putney commons in two exact places relatively close together. The alternative hypothesis predicts a correlation between the diversity of species on trampled and non-trampled areas. To collect data to support or dismiss the hypothesis, I first performed a preliminary investigation. A 20m tape measure was set out across the trampled area and at every 2m interval (2m, 4m, 6m etc) a 0.25m2  quadrat was laid down and the species counted. In the same quadrat a measurement of soil depth was taken. This was carried out by pushing a knitting needle into the soil in the middle of the quadrat with a thumb. This method was repeated in exactly the same way in the non-trampled area. The results were that there was no significant difference between the species diversity in trampled and non-trampled areas. A MannWhitney 'U' test was used to find the correlation, the critical value for n1 was 10 and the same for n2, the smallest 'U' value was less than 23, which meant that the null hypothesis was accepted.


I went to Wimbledon and Putney common on a cold, wet and windy day the temperature was approximately 10oC. This variable meant that there were not as many people in the park as there usually was but mainly the people out to walk their dogs. The area that I carried out my investigation was near the windmill, which is one of the busiest places in the park because there is a café and a car park a minute away. This was a suitable place to take data from because it matched the criteria of counting the species found in trampled areas. I was on the common for two days in total. On the first day the whole class went through methods such as how to carry out a line transect, how to check the soil depth, light intensity and took some samples of the pH of the soil.

I decided to find out whether there was a species diversity difference in trampled and non-trampled areas because whilst carrying out the different forms of methods I noticed that in different parts of the grass there would be a higher concentration of grass to clover compared to a previous sample taken or a different amount of rye to plantain. Realising that there must be a reason as to why there were these differences is the reasoning behind my decision.

NULL HYPOTHESIS: There will not be a significant difference between species diversity on trampled and non-trampled land.

ALTERNATIVE HYPOTHESIS: There will be a significant difference in the species diversity on non-trampled and trampled land.

PREDICTION: I predict that my alternative hypothesis will be accurate.

EXPLANATION OF PREDICTION: Different species have different growth requirements and different sustainablities to various conditions. Plantain is one plant that can survive in trampled and non-trampled areas. Most are herbaceous plants, though a few are subshrubs growing to 60cm tall. The leaves are sessile, but have a narrow part near the stem, which is a pseudo-petiole. They have three or five parallel veins that diverge in the wider part of the leaf. The leaves are broad or narrow depending on the species.

Mosses are small, soft plants that grow to around 1-10cm tall and considered to bee weeds. They commonly grow large in clumps in damp or shady locations. They do not have flowers, seeds, leaves, roots or stems because of this its growth is limited to moist locations. They are found mainly in areas of low light intensity and dampness, commonly in wooded areas and the edges of streams. Moss growth can be inhibited by a number of methods: increasing direct sunlight, raising the soil pH, increasing number and resources available for competitive plants like grasses and decreasing the water availability.

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Rye (Secale cereale) is a grass grown extensively as a grain and forage crop. It is a member of the wheat tribe and is closely related to barley and wheat. Rye is highly tolerant of soil acidity and is more tolerant of dry and cool conditions.

Nettles (Urtica dioica) are a herbaceous perennial, growing to 1-2m tall in the summer and dying down to ground level in the winter. It has widely spread roots. Humans and animal waste may be responsible for elevated levels of phosphate in the soil, providing an ideal environment for stinging nettles.


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This is a well written and structured report. 1. There is a lot of running commentary that should be removed. The subheadings are enough to lead the reader through the sections. 2. The statistical tests have been carried out well. 3. The analysis should back up the claims by quoting data from the investigation. 4. The report needs to have an evaluation that concentrates several sections from earlier in the report. ****