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£79 77-700271 Introduction to Ecology
Department of the Natural and Built Environment
Coursework Assignment (Sole Summative Task): Analytical Biogeographical Site Investigation Report
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The aim of this exercise is to explore the factors that influence the distribution of plant species in a specific location. The site to be investigated will be selected on the basis of availability and access, near the start of semester 1. The site will be visited, described, examined and analysed during the course of this module. Description of Assignment
The factors to consider are: • Climate • Soils • Geology • Ecological processes • Topography • Land-use
Knowledge of the interactions between these factors is expected to come across in the report. You are also expected to apply your knowledge of ecological principles and theories in the explanation of the site. The first stage of the investigation is to walk the field looking for variations in the vegetation. This could be structural ( e.g. sward height) or differences in the species present (do not worry about identifying the species present at this stage). At the same time you should be looking for variations in topography, land use and land management. Once all groups have approximately mapped the area a sampling strategy will be agreed for the class. Then, data on species distribution and abundance will be collected on site. In addition, soil samples may be collected for laboratory analysis.
The following learning outcomes will be assessed: Learning Outcomes
Explain the influence of edaphic, climatic and hydrological factors on the growth and distribution of organisms.
Discuss key ecological principles and their role in the occurrence of selected species.
Present a scientific investigation in a report format.
of the site and the factors that affect it. You are recommended to use the headings identified below. This table also shows the approximate marks allocated to each section. Use this as a guide to the effort you should expend on element. This report will provide a critical discussion Presentation of your Assignment Department of the Natural and Built Environment in accordance with the Authors` Instructions, given alongside this brief (see Note, below). These instructions are heavily based on those required by the . Adherence to such editorial prescriptions is a professional necessity and is part of the students` employability development. Journal of Applied Ecology
Analysis of the context of the site including: Introduction
relevant information from secondary sources
Presentation of data using tabular and other relevant graphical techniques. Results Identification of significant results and trends ( i.e. those to be discussed in the next section).
Critical discussion of the relationships between the environmental conditions and biological data based on key results identified in the previous section. Discussion and Conclusion The impact of in situ and ex situ management
In assessing presentation the following features will be looked for: Style and presentation
a clear and logical flow (use sub-headings as appropriate)
clearly presented graphs and diagrams, using IT as appropriate
evidence of wide and appropriate reading of academic texts and use of discourse
appropriate presentation of references in the text and the bibliography
correct use of English spelling and grammar, using correct scientific conventions.
Authors` Instructions are provided, below.
The word limit is (not including title page, contents page, summary / abstract, Figures and references). In accordance with university regulations, work exceeding the word limit will not be marked. 3000 words Note: The work must be word processed and 1.5 line-spaced, precisely in accordance with the Authors` Instructions provided for this module. Failure to apply these conditions will result in the loss of 25% of your marks awarded for the other elements in the marking scheme. This partially simulates the fact that a publisher will simply reject a document submitted in the wrong format.
Your work will be assessed according to the following criteria (to be read in conjunction with the feedback grid on page 4 of this brief). These criteria are not equally weighted. Assessment Criteria
Structure and layout
Evidence of preparatory reading and research
Evidence of understanding
Figures and tables
Spelling, grammar and punctuation
The quoted price covers up to
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