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University of Bristol
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Using Science to support biodiversity

Devil's Bit - Click to enlarge

National Parks & Biodiversity on Paths

Stage 3:  How to carry out the investigation.
Part A - Aims of the investigation:

Aims - to measure the distribution and abundance of plant species across a path.  Vegetation height, slope and bare earth will also be recorded. 

  • The data collected should then show any differences taking place across the path. 
  • These results could possibly be used to determine if there are any changes occurring, although this will need control data for comparison
  • Control data would come from a transect nearby, where there was not a path.
  • Further investigations would be required to determine the cause of the change and strategies to minimize or avoid any further damage.

The investigation:

  • Preparing for the investigation itself needs a bit of ground work. You can carry out the next two activities on the day itself or beforehand but its probably better done earlier than later.

The next few pages describe an investigation that was actually carried out on a site in Dartmoor National Park and the data collected is real. 

Next: Species Identification 
Next: Choosing the site 


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