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Geography Internal Assessment Essay

First, the channel width (A. on figure 3) was measured. This was done by using a tape measure. The tape measure was held tight from bank to bank, along the water surface. Starting from 0 on the tape, the depth of the water in centimeters was measured.

Once the width was taken, that measurement was taken and divided by ten to get x cm. Every x cm (B. on figure 3) a depth measurement was taken. The depth was measured using a ranging pole. A tape measure was take held across the banks, and the ranging pole was put into the river as deep as it could go, every x cm. Once the ranging pole was in the river as deep as it could go, where the water surface hit the ranging pole was taken note of, this was the depth. From all ten measurements, for each of the ten locations, an average was calculated from the raw data we collected.

Water samples were obtained by letting the water flow into a sample jar and closing the lid, making sure no bubbles get into the sample. The soil samples were obtained by using a soil drill at the river banks of every location. What is done to take the soil sample is push, while turning, the soil drill into the ground. The soil drill is then taken out of the ground and it’s contents are put to the side. Pushing the soil drill is then repeated in the same spot. The soil drip is then pulled out again, and these contents are then put into a sample jar. The reason for using the second attempt’s contents as opposed to the first attempt’s, is so that what is collected is purely dirt. In the first attempt it is possible to obtain other content in the sample (e.i. grass) and this is not what is needed.

Once back in lab the samples are tested for different substances. First the pH-level of a water sample is tested, this is simply done with a pH indicator strip. Then nitrite, nitrate, phosphate, nickel, oil, and phosphate are all tested all using appropriate level indicating test strips. For the soil samples, distilled water is added to the soil and mixed. The same tests that were done to the water, were done with the soil, the test strips were put into each mud sample and the data was recorded.

To compare bio-diversity the quadrate method was used. The quadrate was pre-made out of four strings tied together to form a long rectangle, with each width measuring 30cm and each length measuring 180cm. At each location, the quadrate was set out along the river bank. The amount of different species were noted, as well as their names and an approximation of their occurrence. Identifications were made using an identification sheet, and any unidentified species were collected in jars and taken back to the lab for identifying, using an encyclopedia. Other larger species and high occurrences in species which were not recognized in the quadrate were also taken note of. The goal was to figure out the species richness.

Individual Sites Descriptions and AnalysisLocation 1:Eisenbach, sourceDistance from human influence:10mThe first location tested for data was the source of the Eisenbach River. This location was very close (10m) to human influence. The source of this river started on the edge of small village called Kisternich, where it meet forest area. The biodiveristy was sparse, as everything but a small space around the river had been manipulated by humans.

The chart which follows shows the mineral test results:pHnitritenitratenickelsulfateoilphosphate60mg50mg/l0mg with non-stinging hairs and also bear many stinging hairs, whose tips come off when touched, transforming the hair into a needle that will inject several chemicals and possibly formic acid into one who touches it.

The broad-leaved dock is a species of perennial weed. These plants are very commonly spotted growing right next to stinging nettles. They have a pH neutralizing effect on nettles because of there low acidity level.

Buttercups and Dandelions are both common weeds that can be found in various location worldwide. There was a high amount of buttercups. A heavy growth of buttercup is an indication of low soil fertility. Buttercups contain an acrid, volatile alkaloid-amenenol, which means they are able to grow in acidic soil. Dandelions are a very common weed because of their abilities to reproduce so easily. They usually grow on soil slightly alkaline (pH- level about 7.5), but they still able to survive in soil slightly acidic for periods of time. At this location Dandelions were sound in sparse amounts, probably due to the fact that the ground was slightly acidic.

Location 2Eisenbach, bridge ADistance from human influence:1.4mThe second location on the Eisenbach, we tested the river right below a bridge off of a main, frequently used, road in Simmerath. This area was very human influenced, not in that the pacific area that was tested had been manipulated by humans, but in that it was directly under a busy road, therefore having direct effects on it’s surrounding.

pHnitritenitratenickelsulfateoilphosphate60mg25mg/l0mg residues, animal manures and human wastes decompose.

Acid sulfates in occur naturally in soil. At this location a result of less than 400 mg more than 200 mg was recorded. This is only one indication higher than that of the lowest amount of sulfate from all the samples taken in this experiment. This is a common amount in human influenced areas, however a raised amount could be an indication of algaecide.

Nitrate, nickel, oil, and phosphate were not not detected in these samples.

The broad-leaved dock is a species of perennial weed. These plants are very commonly spotted growing right next to stinging nettles. They have a pH neutralizing effect on nettles because of there low acidity level.

Giant water lilies were very common among the banks of the river in this location. These plants were providing a great amount of shade to the river, covering the sides and in some parts of the river, the entire width completely.

Buttercups, poppies, and dandelions are all common wildflowers, there presence often indicate an unkept, untouched location. Dandelions are a very common weed because of their abilities to reproduce so easily. They usually grow on soil slightly alkaline (pH- level about 7.5), but they still able to survive in soil slightly acidic for periods of time. At this location dandelions, poppies, and buttercups were sound in sparse amounts.

Location 3:Eisenbach, bridge BDistance from human influence:3mThe third location tested on the Eisenbach, the river right below a bridge off of a main, frequently used, road in Simmerath. This area was very similar to location 2. The bridges from location 2 and locations 3 were on the same roads, very close apart, and therefore had very similar results. This location was human influenced, not in that the pacific area that was tested had been manipulated by humans, but in that it was directly under a busy road, therefore having direct effects on it’s surrounding.

This location was very similar to location too. The stinging nettle was very abundant. This goes along with the pH-level of this location being 6, showing slight acidity. The broad-leaved dock is a species of perennial weed. These plants are very commonly spotted growing right next to stinging nettles. They have a pH neutralizing effect on nettles because of there low acidity level.

Buttercups, poppies, and dandelions are all common wildflowers, there presence often indicate an unkept, untouched location. They usually grow on soil slightly alkaline (pH- level about 7.5), but they still able to survive in soil slightly acidic for periods of time. At this location dandelions, poppies, and buttercups were sound in sparse amounts.

Location 4:Eisenbach, parkDistance from human influence:0kmThis location was completely manipulated by humans, it was in a park. This location is of the most human influenced of all the locations in this experiment. While visiting this location there were men cutting the grass. The species found in this location are very different than of that of any other location, because many species here were domesticated and put there by humans.

Nitrate levels were high, the same as the first location, 50mg/l. Nitrate is a naturally occurring chemical form of nitrogen found in most soils. So, it is normal to have a low amount of nitrate in the soil. However, an increased amount, such as this one, can indicate plant residues, animal manures and human wastes decompose.

Sulfate was low in these samples, no significant amount. This was the only location however, that had oil. This may be the result of the law mowers, or not but it was definatly human induced.

No nitrite, nickel, or phosphate were found in these samples.

The chart below lists the plant and animal species found at Location 4, in order from largest abundance to lowest:dentified species:plantsanimalsGrass human placedCommon Toad /Tadpole (Bufo bufo)Clover (Trifolium repens)Duck (Anas platyrhynchos) -domesticatedDaisies (Leucanthemum vulgare)Flatworm (Dugesia lugubris)Bush (shrub) -human placedGrasshopperDandelion(Taraxacum officinale)Goose (Anser anser domesticus) -domesticatedKoi Fish (nishikigoi)total:56The entirety of the park was covered with grass, even with men cutting it, while making a visit there. This location was interesting because there were shrubs surrounding the river which passed through the park. When standing vertical to the shrubs, a clear distinction is made between the park and unkept surroundings of the river banks.

On the inside of the shrubs, a variety of wildflowers and weeds were identified. Clover, being the most common, dandelions and daisies were all identified in this area. Showing that is had been unkept.

Many tadpoles had been found in this area. Assuming that the only animal we located that could have produced the tadpoles, they are thought to be of toad species. Toads are not domesticated, but they do often occur in residential areas. They have adapted to human infrostucture and therefore a common in areas such as this park.

Ducks and geese were present in the park. These are both domesticated species brought to the park by humans. Koi fish were also present in the river, these being also brought in by humans to the park. With all these domesticated species mixed with the wild species, the park creates an ecosystem so unique to the other locations with biodiveristy in the area that could never occur in nature.

Location 5:Eisenbach mouthDistance from human influence:15kmThis location was were the Eisenbach meets the Rur. The park location and mouth location are relatively close, but the Eisenbach mouth location seemed a little less human influenced, as it was in a town, yet less visited than the park.

Ferns are not usually present in human influenced places, unless they are domesticated. These ferns were not domesticated, showing that this location, while it was slightly human influenced, it is also somewhat natural.

Location 6:Brommersbach meets RurDistance from human influence:1.6kmThis location is the point of the Brommersbach where it meet with the Rur. The location was more than 50 meters off of a small road and the closeted infrastructure was a house over a kilometer and a half away. The location was pretty secluded from human info-structure.

Salamander(Salamandra salamandra)1 unidentified species of mossEuropean garden spider(Araneus diadematus)2 unidentified species of mossSoldier Beetle(Rhagonycha fulva)Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)Flea Beetle (Altica oleracea)Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica)total:98The amount of species in this location is much greater than that of any other location mentioned in the locations above.

All the rocks in the area were covers with moss. This presents it’s untouched nature. In the human influenced location no mosses what-so-ever were present.

Giant Water Lillies were over the banks of this location, covering the river.

Weeds were present in sparse amounts. A few Dandelions and a one or two nettles were present.

Ferns and clovers are not usually present in human influenced places, unless they are domesticated. These ferns and clovers were not domesticated, showing that this location, while it was slightly human influenced, it is also somewhat natural.

Buttercups, poppies, and dandelions are all common wildflowers, there presence often indicate an unkept, unmaintained location.

Ferns are not usually present in human influenced places, unless they are domesticated. These ferns were not domesticated, showing that this location, while it was slightly human influenced, it is also somewhat natural.

Location 8:Brammersbach, location 3Distance from human influence:3.2kmThis location was far off any beaten path. Themost isolated of all the locations. The location was not reachable by car. At a point we had to get out of the car and hike for about 30 minuets to reach this location. It was in a forest, complete with trees overhead, and giving shade to the entire stream.

Of the animals in this location, the most abundant were mayflies. Mayflies actually indicate good water quality. They do not tolerate pollution well, and large numbers are observed only when good water quality is present. Earth worms were also in large numbers. They are usually found in humid locations, where the dirt is moist. Pond skaters may, but not necessarily indicate slight pollution.

Location 9:Brammersbach, location 4Distance from human influence:200mThis location was the closest location on this river to human influence. It was about 200 meters from a field were it seemed they kept cows, though there were no cows in the location at the present time.

pHnitritenitratenickelsulfateoilphosphate61mg/l25mg/l0mg>400mgno0mgThe pH-level of the soil in this location has a pH-level of six, seven being neutral. The pH-level of this measurement is shown to be slightly acidic, it showing a level one less than the neutral level. It had a trace of nitrate, 25mg/l. A sulfate amount at less than 400mg. No oil was found. Nitrate, nickel, and phosphate were not present. These are all indicators that this location has little (if any) human influence as far as minerals are concerned.

The chart below lists the plant and animal species found at Location 9, in order from largest abundance to lowest:identified species:plantsanimalsCommon GrassGround Beetle(Coleoptera Carabidae)Buttercup (Ranunculus acris)Snail (Helix aspersa)Giant Water Lily(Nuphar advena)1 unidentified species of spiderDandelion (Taraxacum officinale)Pond Skater (Gerris remigis)Poppy (Papaver rhoeas)1 unidentified species of TickStinging Nettle (Urtica dioica)Broad-leaved Dock(Rumex obtusifolius)total:75Grass was covering this entire location. Many weeds were abundant at this location. Buttercups, poppies, and dandelions are all common wildflowers, there presence often indicate an unkept, untouched location. They usually grow on soil slightly alkaline (pH- level about 7.5), but they still able to survive in soil slightly acidic for periods of time. At this location dandelions, poppies, and buttercups were sound in sparse amounts.

Location 10:Brammersbach, location 5Distance from human influence:1.3kmThis location was very secluded on a hill. It was not a forest area, but a field. The closes indication of human influence was over a kilometer away.

Ground spiders were along the entire ground, under many decaying leaves, it seemed like hundreds of spiders. There were many snails in the area. According to a provided water-quality sheet, a large snails are an indication of moderate-contaminated water. Pond skaters may, but not necessarily be an indicator of moderately pollution. They prey on invertabres that, in large numbers point to pollution, but are also present in smaller amounts in cleaner water.

Overall Descriptions and AnalysisThe pH levels of each locations were very similar. The pH-level barley varied throughout the entire experiment. Most of the locations had a pH level of 6, which is neutral. The locations differences of pH-level is so small, that no further information can be pulled from this data, besides all of the indications on the previous section of this investigation.

The graphs above shows no positive relationship between pH-level / nitrate and distance from human influence. The p-H level and amount of nitrate barley changed at all between the locations, and therefore no further information can be pulled from this data. Also, it was unevenly distributed.

The graph above displays the amount of animals identified at each location. from just looking at the chart, it seems as if the distribution of plant and animal species is at random. However, there is a clear difference between the first five locations and the second five locations of both graphs. The second halves of both graphs do include more locations with higher levels of species then the first half. To make it more clear, I have included both results into the Spearman Rank Correlation, on the next page displays my results.

The scatter graph above does not show a positive increase in plant species occurrence in relationship to distance from human influence. Overall, it looks like a random distribution.

To prove and measure this relationship in statistical terms the Spearmans rank correlation coefficient has been calculated.


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