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Eld Experiment About Biodiversity of Herbaceous Dicots (Dicotyledoneae) in a Mowed Area and an Open Field at Trent University

In: Science

Submitted By mandaxo
Words 1954
Pages 8
Amanda Foerstner
Group: F09
Amanda Foerstner
Group: F09

Fi.

Due Date: Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Course Number: 1020H
Student Number: 0533504
Due Date: Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Course Number: 1020H
Student Number: 0533504

Herbaceous dicots (or the scientific name for it, Herbaceous dicotyledoneae) are flowering plants with no woody stem. They are found in grassy and herbaceous areas, and are used in gardens for various tasks such as boarders, or having pleasing features to look at. Before this lab, what I already knew about herbaceous dicots are that, herbaceous dicots are normally soft and fleshy and die around fall time annually (vcbio.science.ru.nu, 14.Oct.2012). “They have a grouping of vessels into vascular bundles in primary xylem of stems and leaves in dicotsform of non-randomness, and the significance of vascular bundles (as opposed to steles) as adaptive forms of organization is considered briefly” (Carlquist, cabdirect.org). They have net variation for their leaves can produce colourful flowers and survive in temperate conditions. What our group do not know what herbaceous dicots is if human intrusion would affect their biodiversity, which is why our group did this lab. Our experiment was to collect data from two different types of locations, one area being human interfered and one that was not. This ultimately would help us find out if human intervention affects the richness in biodiversity of herbaceous dicots. By finding out if human interference affects the biodiversity, one can see if there is a decrease in biodiversity of herbaceous dicots when creating new buildings in such areas.
Before our group began the experiment, we picked two different areas, close to the DNA building at Trent University and asked: “How does human intervention affect the abundance of biodiversity of herbaceous dicots in a mowed area versus a wild, overgrown field?” From this question, my lab group came up with the hypothesis that human intervention does affect the biodiversity and abundance of herbaceous dicots compared to an old field under no human intervention. From this one can predict that if the area is interfered with by human intervention, then the biodiversity of the area would go down. The fact that there is an outside source of interference introduced into the ecosystem that is not naturally part of that system, causes interference, and inhibits growth.

Procedure/Method
Firstly, our lab group decided our locations for the experiment which were an open field and a mowed area, which are close to the DNA building at Trent University on September 26, 2012. We went to the mowed area at 5:50 pm. The weather was chilly, cloudy, and damp and the temperature was 15 degrees Celsius. The mowed area was an open field, with a small bunch of trees and a sewer. It contained herbaceous as well as woody plants. We spent forty minutes at this location and then moved to the old field. We got to the old field at 6:30 pm, which is located behind the DNA building at Trent University, and was at the old field for an hour. The sun was setting, making the weather colder and the temperate decreasing, making it 10 degrees Celsius. The old field was not an open field, containing tons of herbaceous plants, weeds.
After arriving at the first location, we prepared our supplies, and headed out to our first location; wild growing area (open field). After arriving at the location, we threw a pencil in the field to decide where to place our 5m x 5m perimeter using measuring tape and poles to identify the perimeter. Then placed the ¼ m quadrat on a random piece of test area selected by using the randomly generate numbers sheet. The generated numbers used were: 9 North x 8 East, 1 North x 5 East, and 4 North x 5 East. Then we confirmed an average amount of biodiversity and plants in our selection. We counted and recorded our results in an observation table, using a pen or pencil. We made our table using the amount of herbaceous dicots growing in one quarter of the quadrat. We afterwards multiplied our findings by four if needed and recorded the data in the observation table. We repeated these steps two to three times using different randomly selected quadrats.
After, we moved to the second location; the mowed area, and repeated the previous steps. However, we used different numbers from the randomly generated numbers sheet. The generated numbers were: 7 North x 9 East, 0 North x 5 East, and 6 North x 11 East. Afterwards, my lab group and I grabbed our equipment, went inside the DNA building, inside our lab room, and started analyzing the data we collected. We found that the average of the results for both locations tested and recorded the data.

Results
From the lab experiment that we completed, the different areas have given us clear results. Despite the differences between both locations, both the old field and mowed area have the same number of orders in each area (See Figure #1). From this we can see that even with the differences of the spaces, both sites have rarely an abundance of different orders of herbaceous dicots. This type of data is linked with the data that the two different sits, also have the same number of orders for richness (See Figure #2). However, despite having the same amount of richness in orders, there were differences between each place, involving diversity. Using the Shannon Diversity Index, our data shows that the old field has a greater diversity than the mowed area (See Figure #3). Even without using the Shannon Diversity Index, it was clear from our results that the mowed area had more species, in a quantitative perspective (See Table #1).
By doing our experiment, and using our ¼ m quadrat in three different places in both areas, we can conclude that they are not many different orders in each area as the total cumulative number if orders for each location was 2(See Tables 2 & 3) . An example of the research, showing the specific different types of dicots found in a mowed area, on September 26, 2012, at Trent University (See Table #7).
With these results, it can be concluded that the old field had more biodiversity than the mowed area, but there was not much different orders and different types of herbaceous dicots in either sections. This in the end, helped us prove that human interference does have an effect, which means that this helps us not rule out our hypothesis.
Conclusion/Discussion
Our hypothesis states that “human intervention affects the biodiversity, richness and abundance of herbaceous dicots compared to a wild field under no human intervention.” After we analyzed the data, made from our findings in the mowed area and old field, we can conclude that this experiment has only partially supported our hypothesis. As our prediction determined that human interference would decrease biodiversity, our results help prove that our prediction cannot be rule out, as the Shannon Index is greater in the open field as opposed to the mowed. As the diversity in the open field is greater than the diversity in the mowed field, this gives us still the ability to not rule out our conclusion. With the results from the experiment, our hypothesis cannot be ruled out as there were more biodiversity in the open field. Despite having different patterns with diversity, each location is equal to richness with two. I believe that the richness is the same because the two areas are relatively close to one another (distance from on to another being about 100-130m). With the locations being so close to one another, it is perceived that they would have the same or similar orders. However, within the orders, are different types of plants which our lab group did not get the same answer for, for each location. I believe this data collected is due to different types of environment, i.e. shading, on a hill or not, etc.
With the Orders Area Curve, our results tell us that both the old field and the mowed area have the same number of orders, and same orders in each area. It can be said that with both locations, one major factor that controls dicot diversity is adapting to the environment, climate around the specific plant (wisegeek.com, 2012). Since there were many similarities between the two areas, I believe that, that was the shortcomings to our study. With our two different ‘variables’ being very similar, I believe that, that made our results too similar, making the sample size smaller than usual. If I had to redue this lab and experiment, I would have used a third location, so I could have more, and different set of samples, which could help analyze the data better.
With the results from the experiment, our hypothesis cannot be ruled out as there was more diversity in the old field. From this lab, our lab group can conclude that our hypothesis is only partially being supported and that there should be more research/labs done.

Table #1: Summary Table; Comparing between an Open Field and a Mowed area at Trent University, September 26, 2012 (5-8pm).
Table #1: Summary Table; Comparing between an Open Field and a Mowed area at Trent University, September 26, 2012 (5-8pm).

Order | N/Mowed Area | N/Old Field | Fabales | 26 | 284 | Asterales | 14 | 20 | N= | 40 | 304 | S= | 2 | 2 | H= | 0.648 | 0.2424 |

Legend for tables
N – Number of Individuals
S – Richness (Number of Orders)
H /-(PInP) – Shannon Diversity Index

Legend for tables
N – Number of Individuals
S – Richness (Number of Orders)
H /-(PInP) – Shannon Diversity Index

Table #2: Data for generating an Orders Area Curve for Mowed area.
Table #2: Data for generating an Orders Area Curve for Mowed area.

Sample Number | Cumulative Area Sample | Number of Orders | Number of New Orders | Cumulative Number of Orders | 1 | 1/4 m(squared) | 2 | 2 | 2 | 2 | 1/4 m(squared) | 2 | 0 | 2 | 3 | 1/4 m(squared) | 2 | 0 | 2 |

Sample Number | Cumulative Area Sample | Number of Orders | Number of New Orders | Cumulative Number of Orders | 1 | 1/4 m(squared) | 2 | 2 | 2 | 2 | 1/4 m(squared) | 2 | 0 | 2 | 3 | 1/4 m(squared) | 2 | 0 | 2 |
Table #3: Data for generating an Orders Area Curve for Old Field area.
Table #3: Data for generating an Orders Area Curve for Old Field area.

Table #7: Calculation of the Shannon Diversity Index for herbaceous dicots found at Mowed area.
Table #7: Calculation of the Shannon Diversity Index for herbaceous dicots found at Mowed area.

Dicots found in sample | N | P | InP | -(PInP) | Fabales | 284 | 0.934 | -0.068 | 0.0635 | Asterales | 20 | 0.0668 | -2.718 | 0.179 | Total | 304 | 1 | -2.786 | 0.2425 |

References:
- n.a. 14.Oct.2011. "Diversity." Virtual Classroom Biology. <http://www.vcbio.science.ru.nl/en/virtuallessons/leaf/diversity/>. Web. 25 Oct. 2012.
I used this to help explain the data, showing a major factor that controls dicot diversity.
- n.a. 2012. "What Are Herbaceous Plants?." wiseGEEK: clear answers for common questions. <http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-herbaceous-plants.htm>. Web. 28 Oct. 2012.
I used this site to get background information on herbaceous dicots. This site helped me find generic information on herbaceous dicots.
- Carlquist, S. n.d. “Non-random vessel distribution in woods: patterns, modes, diversity, correlations.” <http://www.cabdirect.org/abstracts/20093194734.html;jsessionid=EEFE5C317CDC82453398FB106E0C6475>. 27 Oct. 2012.
I used this article to get more background information on herbaceous dicots. This site helped me find detailed information on the herbaceous dicot’s structure such as leaves.…...

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