Task: Design and carry out an experiment that examines the plant populations and biodiversity at three different sites within the school compound. Aim: To determine whether areas with greater human intervention have an effect on the plant population of the area. Hypothesis: My prediction is that the location with the greater amount of plant population and biodiversity would be the one with the least human intervention- in this case, Plot 2 (Outside the Staff Room/ESL Lab).
The location with the least number of plant population and biodiversity would be the one that experiences the most human intervention, i.e. the primary field, which is used on a daily basis by a large amount of people. There is also construction work being carried out near Plot 3 (Behind the Canteen), which therefore could also affect biodiversity and plant population significantly as well. Variables: Independent Dependent Controlled Location Population and Biodiversity Method of Data Collection (Quadrat) Apparatus: 0. 5m x 0. 5m Quadrat Magnifying Glass Diagram: Method: 1) Gather required equipment. 2) Identify locations where data will be collected from.
3) Place the quadrat on the ground within the location where data will be collected from, and record various plant populations and range of biodiversity. (Data to be recorded in percentages) 4) In order to improve accuracy and reliability of data, take three separate readings for each location. When choosing where to place the quadrat in the given area, opt for a random procedure, such as picking a number from one to ten from a hat, and taking that many number of steps to the left/right (whichever would be more appropriate).
5) Repeat Steps 4 & 5 for the other two locations. 6) Be sure to record your results on a table, and once all raw data is collected, work out the averages and create a separate column for them in your table. Results: Population Percentage (Reading 1) (%) Population Percentage (Reading 2) (%) Population Percentage (Reading 3) (%) Average (%) Plot/Location 1 (Primary Field) Fat:70 Spiky:25 Clover:5 Dandelion: 0 Fat:35 Spiky:25 Clover:40 Dandelion: 0 Fat:70 Spiky:20 Clover:10 Dandelion: 0 Fat: 58 Spiky: 23 Clover: 19 Dandelion: 0 Plot/Location 2
(Outside Staff Room/ESL Lab) Fat:30 Spiky:10 Clover:30 Dandelion: 10 Fat:80 Spiky:0 Clover:10 Dandelion: 10 Fat:40 Spiky:10 Clover: 20 Dandelion: 30 Fat: 53 Spiky:7 Clover:23 Dandelion: 17 Plot/Location 3 (Behind Canteen) Fat:30 Spiky:20 Clover:50 Dandelion: 0 Fat:50 Spiky:30 Clover:20 Dandelion: 0 Fat:25 Spiky:15 Clover:60 Dandelion: 0 Fat: 36 Spiky: 21 Clover: 43 Dandelion: 0 Graphs: Conclusion: Judging by the results, I can conclude that my hypothesis/predictionhas turned out correctly, and that the expected results were obtained.
During our investigation, we found that all our locations had two common types of grass, which we referred to as ‘fat’ and ‘spiky’. We also found that all the locations had Clover growing in abundance. Plot 2 was the only location with a different type of plant species growing- dandelions. Plot 1- The Primary Field had the most amount of Fat and Spiky grass, but the least amount of Clovers. The location also had the least amount of Dandelions, and generally speaking, no other plants/grass types at all.
This is an indication that human intervention is high in this area, which therefore restricts the amount of biodiversity within the area. The field is used daily by a large amount of little children, and there are only three main types of grass/plants growing there. The area is highly disturbed, which in turn restricts the growth of numerous plant and grass species. A reason why this area has the highest amount of Fat grass could be due to its ability to withstand large amounts of human intervention and cope with the significant amount of disturbances, being stronger and sturdier than most types of grass.
This type of grass grows in abundance along with Spiky grass, because hardly any other type of grass or plant species would be able to suit those conditions. Plot 2- As I had predicted, the area outside the Staffroom had the greatest amount of biodiversity, with a range of plant and grass types growing in abundance. The main types (those which were included within the quadrat) were Fat grass, Spiky grass, Clovers, and Dandelions. There was also a significant amount of moss accumulating within the area, and the surface felt different compared to the other two locations.
This location had a large percent of Fat grass, the least amount of Spiky grass, and the most number of Clovers and Dandelions. A plant that was exclusive to this plot was the Dandelion, and this was the only area in which they grew. This provides us with an indication that the amount of biodiversity is significantly large, as it is easy for plants to grow and nurture in this area since there is hardly any human intervention, and it is the area that is least disturbed.
This allows for more plants and grass types to grow, since their growth is not interfered with- enabling a greater amount of biodiversity. Plot 3- The results obtained from behind the Canteen were quite predictable. However, there were no other plant species of grass types in that area, being dominated by the common Fat and Spiky grass types. Biodiversity is quite poor within the area- however, due to lesser amount of human intervention, the Clover species has been able to dominate and grow in abundance, in significantly larger amounts than in the other areas.
Since the area is rarely disturbed, the Clover species has been allowed to grow in larger amounts, overtaking both the Fat and Spiky grass types that are usually the dominant species within the areas. Evaluation: The results obtained prove my hypothesis correct, in which I predicted that the location with the least amount of human intervention would have a greater amount of biodiversity. The results were fairly consistent, apart from the fact that a greater amount of biodiversity was expected in Plot 3 (Behind the Canteen), due to a lesser amount of human intervention.
However, the abundance of Clovers made up for the lack of variety in species and types of grass and plants, dominating the whole area. Plot 2 is able to have a greater amount of biodiversity due to the fact that the area is rarely disturbed, allowing for better growth and a wider range of species being able to nourish and develop there. Plot 1 would definitely have no chance of having a variety of different species and types of plants and grass due to the extreme amount of human intervention.
A factor that could have affected the results would be the construction work being carried out around Plot 3 (Behind the canteen) in recent times, and the possibility of it affecting the biodiversity within the area. Due to the construction work being carried out, the surrounding area is becoming more frequently accessed, allowing for more human intervention and disturbance which therefore affects the growth of the plant and grass species in that area. If the experiment were to be conducted again in the future, a change of location would definitely be more interesting.
We could try collecting data from locations with a wider variety of species and greater amount of biodiversity, such as the big field next to secondary, or perhaps the garden area around the primary walls. These locations would have a number of different plant and animal types, and in comparison with the locations chosen for this experiment, there would be a larger amount of biodiversity due to a lesser amount of human intervention, as both these areas are infrequently or very rarely accessed by school personnel.
Overall, I am relatively pleased with the experiment and the results that we were able to obtain all seem logical enough to provide justification for my hypothesis. Clearly, the area with greater human intervention would have a lesser amount of biodiversity, and the area with a lower amount of human intervention would have a greater amount of biodiversity along with a better range of plant, grass and animal species within that area.