Unit 1 Biodiversity Research Paper

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Biodiversity is simply defined as the number and variability of organisms within a defined area. The amount of biodiversity that is present can help to define an area’s richness and productivity. Several factors that help an influence over biodiversity include climate, an area’s isolation, the vegetation structure, and size of the area. Generally, there are more organisms in a warm and moist environment and biodiversity will decline as the climate moves away from the ideal range of conditions. Isolation also plays a key role as more isolated areas usually have less diversity than areas with more connectivity. In addition, vegetation is a factor because since species often rely on other species, the presence of the different vegetation…show more content…
The soils in the north site has a high chance of being more nitrogen rich and carbon low as Polystichum munitum grows best on soils that are high in nitrogen, low carbon and have a high pH. However, the south site may contain moister compared to the north as it contains more Thuja plicata. These species grow best in soil that are moist and nutrient rich. Based on these two examples, I believe that the north contains moister soil that is high in nutrients but lower in nitrogen than the north site. While the north has soil that is slightly drier, has lower carbon levels, and is high in nitrogen. These small differences in moister and nutrients may have led to the difference in species…show more content…
Some subtle details that I observed in the field are that the north was more developed by humans while the south was more natural. I also saw a much denser canopy in the south and the trails there were rockier than the north. The denser canopy could suggest that the south would contain more shade tolerant species. This is supported by the larger number of Thuja plicata and Acer macrophyllum in the south. However, this can be refuted as well, since the north had a larger amount of Polystichum munitum and Tsuga heterophylla, both of which are also shade tolerant. Therefore, the different microclimates created by the different canopies may not be enough to create a different population in each area. Another factor would be human impacts; this can be shown with the Polystichum munitum. The plants have the tendency to grow in areas that are logged more, this could be displayed as the trails in the north were much wider than the south, therefore implying that the north site had more logging done to create the bigger paths. The numbers we saw would support this theory as the north had 154 compared to 39 in the south. This example could show how the human activities in the area have a direct effect on species distribution, in this case causing more of these plants to be in the

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