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4 pages/≈1100 words
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MLA
Subject:
Biological & Biomedical Sciences
Type:
Lab Report
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English (U.S.)
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Plant Ecology Lab Report Assignment: Materials and Methods (Lab Report Sample)

Instructions:

In this lab, we will use the quadrat method to compare two shrub/sapling communities in two areas with different disturbance histories. Both communities are in a wetland forest, part of the St. Anne Woods and Wetlands (http://www.stannewetland.org/) that is part of NKU REFS (Research and Education Field Station; http://nku.edu/refs), in Melbourne, Kentucky, close to the Ohio River. One is an old-growth American beech (Fagus grandifolia) stand that was apparently never cut. The other is a second-growth of mixed hardwoods that is 60-70 years old. Thus, we will expect some of the same species to appear in each stand, but the proportion may differ because of the different disturbance histories. There is also evidence that the exotic Amur honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii), one of our most prominent shrub species, may be in decline due to outbreaks of honeysuckle leaf blight. The data collection you conduct will thus be important in addressing this possibility. Both of these stands have permanent plots within them that are part of a large study in the Permanent Forest Plot Project that is part of the Ecological Research as Education Network (EREN; http://erenweb.org/new-page/carbon-storage-project/).

source..
Content:
Student’s Name
Instructor’s Name
Course
Date
Plant Ecology Lab Report
Introduction
Plants play a vital role in our lives. Some of the plant species have more benefits than others hence they are in danger of extinction while some of the plant species are endangered by environmental factors such as climate change. Plant community ecology is a branch of biology which is deals with the study of the interactions between plant species including distribution, abundance, structure, demography and interactions between coexisting plant species (Pierik, Carlos and Marcel 1847). Plant species and their traits can differ from one ecology to another due to several actors like the degree of disturbance. For instance, a plant species that used to exist in a particular ecology in abundance can become extinct while new species crop up in the same ecology. The benefit of studying plant ecology is that characteristics such as competition, predation, mutualism and commensalism can be determined (Tylianakis, Jason and Rebecca 129). To ascertain such a situation quadrant method can be used to compare plant communities in two different area. The need to compare plant species and their traits in two different plant communities forms the basis of this lab report. Quadrant method will be used to compare two shrub/sapling communities in two areas with different disturbance histories. Both communities are in a wetland forest, part of the St. Anne Woods and Wetlands that is part of NKU REFS, in Melbourne, Kentucky, close to the Ohio River.
Materials and Methods
Quadrant method which is historically the oldest method used in attaining quantities data on communities was used for this lab. We collected data long a line transect. Transect lines used to collect data passed through a rectangle sampling area that acted as our quadrant. The quadrants measured 2 m x 5 m (10 m2). To mark the quadrant a plant survey flag was planted at the edge and another survey flag planted after 5 m. Tallying of every live woody stem in the quadrant and within 1 m of the transect was done from the beginning of the transect. Only the stem of the plants that was partly in were used for tallying. If the space was within the tallying area the plant was considered. Several groups participated in data collection with each group collecting data along a transect line in a quadrant.
For every stem within 1 m of the transect line we measured its diameter using a tape measure and recorded the results in a sheet. Data from the various groups was pooled so that every individual can perform personal calculations. During pooling data was collected in excel sheet from which several traits of the individual plants were calculated using predetermined formulas. The traits calculated include absolute and relative density, absolute and relative frequency, absolute and relative dominance, and an “importance value” for each for the species sampled. The above procedure was repeated for the two sampling sites on the same day of 15th September 2017 for later comparison of the plant species in them. Only data pooling and calculations were done by individual students while not in groups.
Results
Results for Old Growth Beach Forest
Plant Species

Dominance (m2/ha)

Relative Dominance (%)

Frequency

Relative Frequency (%)

Density (ha-1)

Relative Density (%)

Asimina triloba

0.55549554

86.01%

0.888888889

42.11%

10333.33333

75.61%

Euonymus alatus

0.006719518

1.04%

0.222222222

10.53%

333.3333333

2.44%

Fraxinus americana

0.019547688

3.03%

0.777777778

36.84%

1666.666667

12.20%

Lonicera maackii

0.064053584

9.92%

0.222222222

10.53%

1333.333333

9.76%








Total

0.645816329

100.00%

2.111111111

100.00%

13666.66667

100.00%

Table 1: Absolute and Relative results for Density, Frequency and Dominance in Old Growth Beach Forest
Results for Second Growth Forest

Density (ha-1)

Relative Density (%)

Dominance (m2/ha)

Relative Dominance (%)

Frequency

Relative Frequency (%)

Asimina triloba

133.3333333

1.41%

0.030277623

5.01%

0.133333333

4.88%

Cornus sp.

133.3333333

1.41%

0.05110324

8.45%

0.133333333

4.88%

Fagus grandifolia

66.66666667

0.70%

0.091923525

15.21%

0.066666667

2.44%

Fraxinus americana

1933.333333

20.42%

0.088640037

14.66%

0.533333333

19.51%

Ligustrum vulgare

1400

14.79%

0.034471125

5.70%

0.466666667

17.07%

Lindera benzoin

466.6666667

4.93%

0.006623525

1.10%

0.333333333

12.20%

Lonicera maackii

4200

44.37%

0.29458086

48.73%

0.6

21.95%

Quercus sp.

66.66666667

0.70%

0.00020944

0.03%

0.066666667

2.44%

Rosa multiflora

933.3333333

9.86%

0.006335545

1.05%

0.266666667

9.76%

Rubus allegheniensis

133.3333333

1.41%

0.000327249

0.05%

0.133333333

4.88%








Total

9466.666667

100.00%

0.604492168

100.00%

2.733333333

100.00%

Table 2: Absolute and Relative results for Density, Frequency and Dominance in Second Growth Beach Forest
IV (%)


Asimina triloba

203.73%

Euonymus alatus

14.01%


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