Ecology is the study of the total interactions of all living organisms with each other and the environment in which they live the best way to explore these biotic and abiotic interactions is to go outside and examine your own local ecosystem in this ecosystem. You can clearly see a variety of vegetation at different levels, the canopy in the trees, small trees and low shrubs and ground covers in some areas. If the plants have similar requirements, they will compete for resources such as water soil, Nutrients and light transex are techniques used to study plant populations. But what is a transect transects are lines that are laid across the area to be studied with markings at fixed intervals. This technique is particularly useful in identifying changes in vegetation. Scientists can then analyze these changes by correlating them with changes in the environment, a series of tests are carried out at each of the marked areas along the transect.
This is done to gather data about the abiotic factors. In the environment once completed, the data is analyzed to see if it explains the distribution of the organisms present, a large area would require multiple transects to be carried out to ensure that it was a true representation of the study site. Our transect starts here. And so were the first of our abiotic tests examine, the vegetation on all within a measure of the transect line, try to identify the type of trees and shrubs and record their approximate height on your chart. Soil temperature is an.
Abiotic feature of an ecosystem and can be measured using a temperature probe, leave it in the hole for about one minute then recorded on your chart, air moisture or humidity is measured using a hydrometer. It is also known as a wet and dry bulb thermometer read the temperature on the wet bulb and subtract it from the reading on the dry bulb calculate the difference and match the temperature difference on the column head in the sense table follow that column until level with dry bulb reading and. Record the number as a percentage of air moisture right now, the humidity is sixty-eight percent soil tests such as testing for chlorides or salts and testing pH levels are to abiotic features that can affect plant growth safety equipment, such as gloves and safety goggles are a must as you will be handling chemicals place, a soil sample onto the tray, make sure that you remove any leaf litter stones and sticks from the sample place, three drops of universal indicator on the sample and mix add more. Soil or more Universal indicator until it's a paste consistency, sprinkle some barium sulfate over the paste, but do not mix compare the color of the barium sulfate with the pH color on the color comparison chart and record the pH result, the barium sulfate is used to help us identify the color changes. The pH of this soil sample is approximately 5 testing for salt is important and is called soil salinity testing this test we are performing, however, is limited by the fact that it can only indicate us. Salt is present or absent from the soil.
It does not provide information about possible salt concentrations of the well again, gloves and safety goggles are required for this test place, the soil sample onto the tray and remove any leaf litter stones and sticks place the drop of silver nitrate on the sample. If the soil sample contains salts, a white precipitate will form record the presence or absence of salt chlorides are not present in this sample, soil moisture and soil, texture are more subjective. Tests, and this is called qualitative testing to test for soil moisture, take a soil sample and rub it through your fingers on a scale of one to five give the moisture content. A number where one is dry and five is saturated. This will be compared with other sites along the transect.
This sample is about to checking soil. Texture is very hands-on, obtain a soil sample that fits into the palm of your hand and add wash to it and roll it into a ball. This is known as a bolus attempt to roll it into a rod.
Shape and then attempt to make a ring with it. The results are compared to a soil identification key if it can be rolled into a ring without cracking. It is a clay soil. Other aspects, such as whether grains can be felt are also used to help identify the type of soil present. This sample feels like clay. Loam leaf litter is measured using a simple transparent grid it's, an indication of whether organisms such as insects have shelter, which aid in their survival. The grid is 10 centimeters.
By 10 centimeters and is randomly placed on the leaf litter. The percentage of leaf litter is estimated based on the measurements in the grid in this position on the transect, the percentage of leaf litter is about fifty percent. Light intensity can be measured using a lux meter Lux is a unit for light intensity and comes from the Latin word for light. Lux light is necessary for photosynthesis and plants rely on this process for survival. The light intensity at this position along the transect is. Twenty thousand bucks all the tests that have been carried out here will now be repeated at different positions along the transect.
You may get similar results at the next position, or they could be completely different. The data does not answer questions instead. It should raise questions such as do the different light intensities along the transect effect, which trees grow in which position, or there are different pH levels along the transect. What is causing the difference?
The data collector will. Be analyzed to see what abiotic factors affect the abundance and distribution of plants in this area, which in turn will affect the abundance and distribution of animals that rely on these plants for food and shelter. Just like in this terrestrial ecosystem. Similar tests could be carried out on aquatic ecosystems to examine the impact of abiotic factors on the abundance and distribution of organisms in that area tests, such as measuring turbidity, measuring chemical levels, such as phosphates and. Water temperature all tell us something about the health of the ecosystem. And just what organisms can successfully live there. All the data that is collected on field.
Studies is used to build a picture of the health of the ecosystem as well as track changes in the ecosystem over time. It allows biologists to decide whether they could successfully release animals back into an area that they once inhabited, such as koalas or billies. These studies are becoming increasingly important as we. Need to identify the effects humans are having on our ecosystems, both negative and positive. The data that is collected is just information it's.
What we do with that information that will help shape our earth in the years to come long after we're gone.