Students will have the opportunity to investigate secondary succession of plant communities (including seral stages, climatic climax, sub-climax and plagioclimax) across a grassland / temperate deciduous woodland ecosystem. The investigation will include the collection of biotic data using a suitable sampling strategy (along a belt transect or random sampling), using appropriate quadrats to assess the distribution of plant communities in relation to abiotic (climatic and edaphic) gradients. Interpretation of biotic and abiotic data using spreadsheets and graphical techniques, including kite diagrams and scatter graphs and carry out a Spearmans Rank Correlation Coefficient. Students will discuss the interactions of terrestrial ecosystems including climate, vegetation, soil and topography and how the ecosystem responds to changes. Consideration will be given to the effects of human impact, management and conservation strategies on the area.
This course usually runs from 9.30am – 4pm, but times can be adjusted to suit your group and travel plans. During your visit you will be welcome to the centre and given an appropriate health and safety briefing. Your session will start with an introduction to the day, aims and objectives. Throughout the day we will undertake fieldwork, collecting data appropriate to the topic. We will break for lunch, before continuing with our fieldwork. Depending on the day and the specific times of your visit we may include some data presentation and analysis and we will end the day with a summary including drawing conclusions and limitations. Please note that specific activities for your group are subject to change. We go out in all weathers and seasons and will tailor the content of the day accordingly.
How this course fulfills the specification
AQA: 3.1.6 Ecosystems under stress, 184.108.40.206 Ecosystem and processes, 220.127.116.11 Ecosystems in the British Isles over time, 18.104.22.168 Local ecosystem
Added value of this course
- Develop personal skills
- Have fun
- Be inspired by a passion for the subject
- Build friendships