Do more trees grow on the outer parts of the forest or inner parts and why?
Forest Fragments Assignment ? Answer Template
The ?Forest Fragments? Assignment is an individual assignment, completed and submitted individually to the
dropbox. Provide your answers below, and submit the file to the online dropbox.
PART I: Summarizing primary literature (8 marks)
1.1 Read the provided paper from the primary literature that discusses the effect of habitat edges (edge
effects), or forest fragmentation on the ecology or diversity of a species. Briefly summarize the paper,
paraphrasing each of the components listed in the Assignment Questions. (6 marks)
1.2 Reference the paper (formatted correctly, following the style in the Written Communication Workshop.
PART II: Developing Hypotheses and predictions (7 marks)
2.1 State your observation of a pattern of diversity at the Dairy Bush chosen from the list in the
2.2 Based on your own knowledge, form a hypothesis (the mechanism) that could explain the observation.
2.3 Based on your hypothesis create a prediction that would result from it. (2 marks)
2.4 Devise and explain a feasible way to test your hypothesis using your prediction. (3 marks)
PART III: Analysing data using Excel (14 marks)
Download the Excel spreadsheet found in the content area of the course homepage, under ?Forest Fragments
Resources?. Complete the spreadsheet, answering the Assignment Questions, and upload your excel file to the
PART IV: Data Interpretation (8 marks)
Examine the data you collected and the calculations you made to answer the following questions:
4.1 In seminar 6 we counted the number of stems as a measure of species abundance. Instead of the number
of stems, Matlack (1993) used percent cover when measuring shrub abundance. For woody plants,
percent cover is an estimate of how much ground surface area that the foliage of each species covers, as
a proportion of the total area being sampled. What are some advantages of each method of determining
abundance? (2 marks)
4.2 Compare both the histogram and the Standard Deviation value from the data collected by your seminar
(Questions 3.4 & 3.5) with the histogram and Standard Deviation value from the full data set (Question
3.7 & 3.8). How are the histograms different? How does the greater number of samples in the full
dataset affect the value for mean and Standard Deviation? (2 marks)
4.3 Choose one abiotic and one biotic factor that you listed in seminar 6. Describe how these factors might
be causing the observed difference in abundance at the edge of the Dairy Bush vs. the interior, and
explain the processes involved. To do this effectively you may need to relate the biotic/abiotic factors to
the specific characteristics of the species in your plots. (4 marks)
This question was answered on: Sep 18, 2020
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