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Wye Valley Coursework

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Introduction

Wye Valley Coursework Introduction: The wood I visited was called Russell's Inclosure. It is located at 6110 on the OS map Wye Valley and Forest of Dean. It is 80 - 120 metres above sea level and 4 kilometres east of Coleford and 3/4 kilometres north east of Cinderford. Map showing the location of Russell's Inclosure Hypothesis: "The way a woodland is managed affects its ecosystem" Section One: What evidence of management is there in coniferous and deciduous woodland? Management is. There are four types of management. These are Habitat management, Estate management, Recreational management and Community and educational management. Each type of management is undertaken for different reasons and is made for sustaining different things. The following chart shows you the work of the different managements in the woodland and shows the work that it does. Habitat Management Reasons 1. Sites for tree planting carefully chosen. Different trees require different habitats; therefore tree sites need to be carefully chosen to ensure that the tree receives the correct amount of sunshine, rainfall, and nutrients in order for them to grow healthy. 2. New planting areas fenced Some animals eat plants in order for survival; this could mean eating new plants, as they are easily edible due to their size. By fencing of new planting sites there will be fewer animals that can eat the new plants. Also, fences will prevent visitors walking over the plants and damaging them. 3. Weeding around young trees Weeds are usually plants that are growing were they are not wanted. This means that they take essential nutrients and water, which causes a deficiency in water and nutrients especially for young trees as they need it the most because they are growing. Getting rid of weed means that the young trees will have all the nutrients and water available for them to grow healthy. 4. Coniferous trees thinned and brashed This would leave more sunlight available for other trees because thinning and brashing trees means to remove the branches of trees, and less branches means more sunlight available for other trees as well as the ground cover growth. ...read more.

Middle

The transect through the old coniferous wood There was Moss in every quadrat of the twelve metre transect. This ranged from 95% at 4 metres to 30 % at 12 metres. I was surprised by the results. For Moss to grow temperature and light need to be low and moisture should be high. However, in my results the temperature was high at 13.1oC and so was the light as it was 80% but the moisture was low at 5/10. Reasons for this could be that our readings were taken in late spring and the weather was getting warmer and drier. The Moss would've begun to slow down in growth and production as the weather was becoming inappropriate for the Moss to grow. Twigs were also present in every quadrat of the transect. This ranged from 60% at 0 metres and 8 metres to 25% at 4 metres. I would've expected this because in a wood, twigs are usually on the ground below or near to the tree. This could be because the thinning of trees could lead to twigs being left on the floor and because the temperature is low and so is moisture, it would take a long time for the Twigs to actually be decomposed by bacteria. Also, animals could also be the reason why Twigs are on the ground cover because some animals end up breaking the Twigs in order to make shelters. Leaf litter was also present in each quadrat. It ranged from 50% at 8 metres to 30% at 0 and 12 metres. Leaf litter was present because coniferous trees shed their leaves all year round and due to the temperature being low, it took longer for the leaf litter to get decomposed, as bacteria works affectively at 25oC. Needles are the leaves that grow on the coniferous trees. They were present in all of the quadrats except for the 8m one. ...read more.

Conclusion

This prediction turned out to be true. The deciduous trees on average had 6 as the soil pH but the coniferous wood had an average of 4.5 pH for the soil. This is because the coniferous leaves are naturally acidic, which then means that the soil will be acidic due to the acidic content of the coniferous leaves. Also, the slim shape of the trees lets in a lot of rain, which is acidic, and this means that the coniferous woodland will have an even lower pH than the one in the deciduous wood because acid rain is easily reached to the ground because of the tree shape. Section three: To what extent do you think that differences in the ecosystems in the two woodlands are the result of management strategies? As trees grow older they become bigger, which means that they will block more light and as a whole, there will be less light available for the vegetation to grow healthy. Also, as trees grow older they need more nutrients and water and this results in more vegetation due to the high intake of nutrients and water. As the trees grow older, they have more leaves, which mean that they will have more leaf litter. This then decomposes by the aid of bacteria and becomes nutrients for the trees. This then results in more nutrients for the vegetation. Coniferous woods have a lower soil pH because coniferous leaves make soil acidic. This acidity then results in less ground cover because the acid will be taken in by surrounding vegetation and it will eventually die as plants are not suitable in acidic conditions. In my results, the coniferous woods have a lower pH of 5 in the old coniferous and 4 in the new coniferous, whereas in the old deciduous wood, the pH is high at 5 and in the new deciduous wood the pH is also high at 7, which is neutral. The reason for this is justified in the above statement. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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