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WOODLAND REGENERATION IN A RESTORED QUARRY

Woodland Regeneration in a Restored Quarry

Living things in their environment - based on National Curriculum at KS4 Sc1 Sceintific Enquiry 2

For some general background about these units and how to use them, please read our teachers’ briefing.

Through this module pupils will be encouraged to

• Research and use existing scientific knowledge
• Decide on the appropriate use of first-hand observations or secondary sources
• Set up a pilot study and consider key factors; make testable hypotheses
• Design suitable recording sheets and analysis spreadsheets with accurate calculations at an appropriate level of precision
• Use a range of equipment appropriately and safely, recording to appropriate levels of precision
• Decide on how to present observations
• Evaluate results in the light of original hypotheses and scientific knowledge
• Consider anomalous data and the quantity and reliability of their own data
• Suggest improvements to methods and design further investigations
• Comment on the suitability and sustainability of the management methods employed in the woodland in the restored quarry
• The subject of woodland in restored quarries will be explored in the context of the habitats provided in suitable locations. However the work will be equally relevant to woodland in other situations

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SC1 Scientific enquiry: 2
SC2 Living things in their environment: 3, 4a, 4c
(Quarry-Linked adapted unit)
Woodland regeneration in a restored quarry Key Stage 4 Single Science
ABOUT THE MODULE
Through this module pupils will be encouraged to
• Research and use existing scientific knowledge
• Decide on the appropriate use of first-hand observations or secondary sources
• Set up a pilot study and consider key factors; make testable hypotheses
• Design suitable recording sheets and analysis spreadsheets with accurate calculations at an appropriate level of precision
• Use a range of equipment appropriately and safely, recording to appropriate levels of precision
• Decide on how to present observations
• Evaluate results in the light of original hypotheses and scientific knowledge
• Consider anomalous data and the quantity and reliability of their own data
• Suggest improvements to methods and design further investigations
• comment on the suitability and sustainability of the management methods employed in the woodland in the restored quarry
• The subject of woodland in restored quarries will be explored in the context of the habitats provided in suitable locations. However the work will be equally relevant to woodland in other situations.


WHERE THE MODULE FITS IN CURRICULUM LINKS RESOURCES (items marked * shown in resource design sheet)
Following the National Curriculum at Key Stage 4, the following areas will be addressed:
• Use of scientific knowledge
• Decisions on use of first-hand observations or secondary sources
• Pilot study
• Consideration of key factors
• Setting testable hypotheses (making predictions)
• Sampling strategy and sample size
• Safely and appropriately using a wide range of equipment
• Making and recording reliable observations and measurements
• Assessing reliability levels
• Data presentation
• Accurate calculations
• Evaluating original hypotheses
• Using scientific knowledge to explain and interpret
• Considering anomalous data and reliability of data
• Do we have sufficient evidence?
• Suggest improvements to methods and ideas for further investigations
• numeracy,
• ICT
• literacy
• chemistry
• design technology
• Citizenship

KEY THEMES

• how does woodland regeneration affect adaptation and competition?
• sustainability of the woodland
• photosynthesis and nutrient uptake
• pyramids of biomass and energy transfer
• role of microorganisms • computer network for internet access and worksheet design and production
• Virtual Quarry Resource – information on local woodlands
• digital cameras for production of plant identification resources
• gridded quadrats*, canopy cover tubes* (could be produced in DT lessons);
• clinometers. ranging poles, 30m measuring tapes (available very cheaply from ‘Pound shops’);
• old metal knitting needles (charity shops)
• soil pH kits
• identification keys for woodland plants*, trees* and woodland litter invertebrates*
• large polythene bags
• low power binocular microscopes or x10 hand-lenses, plastic teaspoons, paint-brushes
• sorting trays

EXPECTATIONS
at the end of this module pupils should

Understand how to research and use existing scientific knowledge

By using library facilities and internet research to access previous work on woodlands

Be able to decide on the appropriate use of first-hand observations or secondary sources

By looking at what is known about a suitable local site (Virtual Quarry Resource – information on local woodlands; Local Wildlife Trust and Woodland Trust websites) and deciding what further information is needed

Understand how to set up, carry out and interpret a pilot study

By visiting a local woodland site (real or virtual) and considering key factors and setting testable hypotheses

Be able to design and produce suitable recording and analysis sheets with appropriate levels of precision

Using ICT facilities with the help and support of both Biology and ICT staff or downloading suitable worksheets from Virtual Quarry Resource

Be able to design and produce fieldwork equipment – e.g. quadrats and canopy cover tubes

Using DT facilities with the help and support of both Biology and DT staff

Use this and other equipment appropriately and safely, recording to appropriate levels of precision

After carrying out risk assessments and deciding on appropriate precision level for the different recordings (see resource sheets)

Decide on how to present observations

Using appropriate methods to show in the clearest way possible differences, similarities and relationships between data sets

Evaluate their own results

in the light of their own original hypotheses and scientific knowledge, considering anomalous data and the quantity and reliability of their own data


Suggest improvements to methods and design further investigations

Looking at the problems they encountered, any ‘quick fix’ solutions employed, and any other information which would be useful

Comment on the management methods being used in the woodlands which has been investigated and on the sustainability of the woodlands

Suggesting any management changes which would improve woodland ecosystems
Commenting on the sustainability of the activities which they have carried out – i.e. trampling, collecting invertebrates

Follow-up work focuses on the use of the pupils’ own data to relate to ecological theory and to use their results to demonstrate
• adaptation and competition
• the effects of different canopy regimes on photosynthesis
• the role of ground vegetation and trees in nutrient uptake
• the development of the idea of pyramids of numbers (which in woodland can be inverted with one tree supporting thousands of herbivores) into pyramids of biomass
• the importance of considering seasonal variation and the whole year cycle
• the importance of detritivores (comminution) in assisting microorganisms in their ecological role as decomposers

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Key Stage 4 Single Science:
Woodland regeneration in a restored quarry

Teacher Summary
Introduction
The work involved in ‘Woodland regeneration in a restored quarry’ relates to:

SC1 Scientific enquiry
• 2 investigative skills: planning, obtaining and presenting evidence, considering evidence
SC2 living things in their environment:
• 3a variation – environmental causes
• 4a distribution and relative abundance can be explained using ideas of interdependence, adaptation, competition and predation
• 4c the importance of sustainable use and management of woodland

It is designed
• to build on knowledge and understanding gained at Key Stage 3
• to allow pupils to use a range of complementary skills in ICT and DT to support the science fieldwork investigation and subsequent presentation and analysis.

Specific topics addressed include
• adaptation
• competition
• photosynthesis
• nutrient uptake
• the role of detritivores and microorganisms
• energy transfer
• the development of pyramids of numbers into the concept of pyramids of biomass.

Health and safety and sustainability issues are also addressed during the investigation.

Why use a restored quarry?
• Restoration often has to start from scratch
• it is often carried out in stages which gives an opportunity to look at woodland of different known ages

Preparation – site selection
The teacher should select a suitable local site (e.g. in restored quarry, via virtual quarry resource or local woodland). Ideally a woodland with in a restored quarry showing different stages in succession and two contrasting areas or, if this is not possible, one with secondary data from a previous survey available, is selected. If possible aspect, altitude, geology and soils should be as similar as possible to minimise unwanted variables. Risk assessments must be downloaded (from VQ website) or carried out and the investigation should be fully costed (coach transport etc.) and all necessary permissions obtained.

The lessons and practical sessions
The unit ideally comprises eight sections (four class sessions, two practical sessions in the field and one practical/class session) supported by homework/personal research:

Classroom session 1:
• brief revision of knowledge and understanding
• setting the scene
• allocating preliminary research

Coursework/homework
• preliminary research via virtual quarry resource

Classroom session 2:
• presentation of pupils’ research
• deciding on what will be investigated
• what further information is needed? Can it be gained from secondary sources or is practical investigation needed?
• preparation for pilot study – instructions on what to bring (lunch, suitable clothing, notebooks & pencils, digital cameras etc,)

Practical session 1 (fieldwork):
• a brief look at the two areas to be studied
• selection of sample areas avoiding edge effects, footpaths, anomalous areas
• collection of preliminary samples of plant leaves for identification and preparation of worksheets
• collection of preliminary samples of leaf-litter for invertebrates and field identification using FSC foldout chart

Classroom session 3:
• recap on practical session 1
• get pupils to suggest, and agree on, hypotheses – trees, plants, ground vegetation, invertebrates
• sampling methods which will test these hypotheses are now designed and suitable equipment discussed

Practical session 2 (fieldwork):
• detailed investigation of the two areas of woodland to test the hypotheses which the pupils have suggested
• identification in the field and careful release of invertebrates collected
• teacher collects pupils’ data sheets for safe keeping

Classroom/practical session: data collation and presentation
• hand data sheets back
• pupils enter data into prepared spreadsheets
• after auditing printouts of all results are given to pupils
• groups of pupils are allocated different sections of the data and asked to prepare displays which help to decide whether to accept or reject each hypothesis

Coursework/homework
• internet research on individual species and their adaptations
• preparation of presentation by each group - who will say what

Classroom sesssion 4: summing it all up
• brief (5 minute maximum) presentation by each group
• review of methods used and suggested improvements, further research
• discussions on adaptation and competition and ways of avoiding competition
• revisit the idea of pyramids of numbers – why is it too simplistic?
• introduce the idea of pyramids of biomass and explain why animals, plants and leaf litter have not been weighed
• final discussion on management and sustainability of the woodland

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Key Stage 4 Single Science:
Woodland regeneration in a restored quarry

Preparation for the unit
Classroom session 1: introduction

In the first lesson, ask the pupils to tell you what they already know about
• food webs
• pyramids of numbers
• energy transfer
• adaptation and competition

Then tell them that they will be doing practical work - an investigation into parts of a local woodland.

If a quarry is used
• emphasise that it is not a natural habitat
• it is the result of industrial activity
• ask the pupils what was obtained form the quarry
For all sites
• Hand out or project maps showing the site
• Ask pupils initially asked to research the chosen site using secondary sources.
• Information is needed on
o the age of the woodland
o trees and other plants recorded
o soil and underlying geology
o local climate.
• Ideally groups of pupils choose a specific topic from this list to research.

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Coursework/homework
Sustainability of the woodland
By asking the questions below pupils will be able to
• Decide on the appropriate use of first-hand observations or secondary sources
• Research and use existing scientific knowledge

Is woodland in a restored quarry sustainable?
• should the woodland be allowed to regenerate naturally or should it be planted? Why? consider costs and benefits of the alternatives
• are the species used suitable? Do they match what occurs locally? Are they suited to the local climate, soil and geology? look at local natural/semi-natural woodlands – secondary data (internet – English Nature or local Wildlife trust). Visit virtual quarry.
• is the management appropriate? Will current management lead to an increase in diversity? – secondary data (internet – English Nature or local Wildlife trust). Visit virtual quarry.
• is the woodland large enough? – secondary data (internet – English Nature or local Wildlife trust). Visit virtual quarry.
• is it close enough to local natural/seminatural sites? – secondary data (internet – English Nature or local Wildlife trust). Visit virtual quarry.
what effects will our investigations have on the woodland? (trampling, removal of invertebrates). Will they affect the sustainability of the woodland?

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Key Stage 4 Single Science:
Woodland regeneration in a restored quarry

Practical session 1 (fieldwork): Pupils carry out a pilot study which involves:
• a preliminary visit to 2 contrasting areas of the woodland or, if only one area is available, an area for which secondary data exists
• identification of the main plant species present (FSC Guide to Woodland Plants, Guide to trees)
• a brief look at leaf-litter invertebrates in 2 areas (FSC Woodland name trail)
• setting up initial predictions (e.g ‘there are more plants in area 1 than in area 2’; ‘there is more light reaching the ground in area 1’; ‘there is more leaf litter on the ground in area 2’; ‘there are more invertebrates in the litter in area 2’; ‘the soil will be different in the 2 areas’ etc.
• decisions on how to sample trees, ground vegetation and invertebrates – sample area, sampling strategy (random or systematic) and methods (quadrats – plain, gridded for plants, counting trees, volume samples for invertebrates in leaf litter; ways of measuring light)
• if the work is being compared with secondary data then the same strategies and methods should be used
• a very brief pilot sample from each area
• careful collection of whole leaves from each tree and ground plant species

Coursework/homework/teacher preparation
Leaves from the trees and ground plants can be scanned to produce identification aids – printed at about life-size. named and laminated they will be very helpful.

A set of scans is provided as a resource.


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Identification resources

There are 3 excellent colour guides in the Field Studies Council’s ‘Fold-out Chart’ series:
• Woodland name trail
• Woodland plants
• Tree name trail

All available from

FSC Publications
Preston Montford
SHREWSBURY
SY4 1HW

Tel.: 0845 345 4072 Fax: 01743 852101

Email: publications@field-studies-council.org

Website: www.field-studies-council.org

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Key Stage 4 Single Science:
Woodland regeneration in a restored quarry

Classroom session 2: presentation of pupils’ research, preparation for pilot study
Ask pupils to consider what happens as woodland grows up.
• How does woodland regeneration affect adaptation and competition?
• what happens to the trees?
• how do they affect the soil and climate of the woodland as they grow up?
• what effect will this have on the ground plants and on invertebrates? What adaptations might be successful?
Pupils decide on what will be investigated
• what further information is needed? Can it be gained from secondary sources or is practical investigation needed?
• preparation for pilot study – instructions on what to bring (lunch, suitable clothing, notebooks & pencils, digital cameras etc,)

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Key Stage 4 Single Science:
Woodland regeneration in a restored quarry

Classroom session 3: Setting up hypotheses and designing the investigation
• recap on the pilot study and secondary data
• look at the predictions made during the pilot study and turn them into testable hypotheses. Discussion might include:
• ‘there are more plants in area 1 than in area 2’, ‘there are more invertebrates in the litter in area 2’
• do we mean ‘more individuals’ or ‘more kinds’ or both?
• ‘there is more light reaching the ground in area 1’
• this is already a testable hypothesis
• ‘there is more leaf litter on the ground in area 2’
• what do we mean by ‘more’? is it deeper, denser?
• ‘the soil will be different in the 2 areas’
• what do we mean by ‘diffferent’? is it deeper in one area, more acid in one area?

• then get pupils to suggest, and agree on, hypotheses – trees, plants, ground vegetation, invertebrates: for example
1. there will be more trees in area 1 (the younger area)
2. the trees in area 1 will be smaller
3. less light will reach the ground in area 2 (the older area)
4. there will be more kinds of ground plants in the younger area
5. there will be more leaf litter in area 2 (the older area)
6. there will be more kinds of invertebrates in the litter in area 2 (the older area)
7. the soil will be more acidic (the pH will be lower) in area 2 (the older area)

sampling strategies and methods which will test these hypotheses are now designed and suitable equipment discussed, e.g.:

• working areas: need to be large enough to reduce impact but far enough from woodland margins, rides or footpaths to avoid ‘edge effects’
• strategies: random sampling gives least bias and fairest comparisons for ground vegetation, soil and invertebrates but trees are best counted and measured individually. Random number tables are needed; the random numbers should include zero and should be in increments which are the size of the gridded quadrat. For example, if the quadrat is 0.5m x 0.5m and the working area is 10m x 10m, then the numbers should include 0, 0.5, 1, 1.5, 2 ………… 8.5, 9, 9.5. If no random number tables are available most mobile phones will generate them or pupils can draw numbered corks from a pot.
• sampling methods:
1. trees: count all trees and measure them. How do we measure trees? Simple clinometer, measure along a slope.
2. light: ‘canopy cover tubes’ to record canopy cover on a simple scale:
• 0 = no branches or leaves visible
• 1 = up to ¼ of the grid occupied by branches or leaves
• 2 = ¼ - ½ of the grid occupied by branches or leaves
• 3 = ½ – ¾ of the grid occupied by branches or leaves
• 4 = more than ¾ of the grid occupied by branches or leaves
Canopy cover tubes while not as sophisticated as light meters are not expensive and do give as much useful information about light levels reaching the ground. If light meters are to be used it is necessary to obtain a matched pair of readings for each quadrat – one reading right out in the open (to give a reference point) and one at the quadrat position. Light at the quadrat position is then expressed as a % of the light in the open. Obviously there has to be a totally open area close by for this method to be practical.
3. Ground plants: gridded quadrat 500 x 500mm, subdivided into 25 equal squares; record number of squares in the quadrat containing each plant species
4. soil: soil pins (charity sop knitting-needles!) to measure depth, soil pH kits to measure acidity
5. invertebrates: after recording the plants in the gridded quadrat remove it and put all the leaf litter from the quadrat in a large labelled polythene bag

If equipment is not readily available, discussions with the DT department may give opportunities for pupils to make the necessary items such as gridded quadrats and canopy cover tubes.

Pupils can now design recording sheets.
• These can be as simple as a series of pictures with boxes next to them or more sophisticated Excel spreadsheets
• for the IT aficionados these can be incorporated into data collation workbooks but it is crucial that the field recording sheets, computer worksheets and results summary sheets maintain a uniform appearance.

Pupils can discuss levels of precision here – they will be different for e.g. tree height (cm) and soil depth (mm).

Health and safety
Pupils can think about safe use of equipment
• it is not only non-random but also dangerous to throw gridded quadrats around.
• if ranging poles are to be used to mark out the corners of the working area then they are not to be used as javelins!
• canes should have an inverted filmpot on the top to avoid potential eye damage
• when walking through woodland take care to avoid tripping over roots or allowing low branches to whip back
• leaving litter is not a sustainable activity!

Ideally there should be one member of staff per 8 pupils at the most and if suitably CRB cleared parent volunteers are available then 1:4 is ideal.

Before the fieldwork visit
• give each working group of pupils the task of listing what they will be doing in the field
• ask each group to describe one aspect of the work to the rest of the class.

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‘QUESTIONS ABOUT QUADRATS’ can also be found on the SAPS (Science & Plants for Schools) website at:
http://www-saps.plantsci.cam.ac.uk/osmos/os25.htm#web

Key Stage 4 Single Science:
Woodland regeneration in a restored quarry

Practical session 2 (fieldwork investigation)
Each group writes their group number and the names of the recorders on their recording sheets before leaving for the woodland.

Check recording sheets and equipment on leaving the classroom and again on arrival at the working site.

Ask pupils to look at an area just outside the working area and to try to match the plants they see with the picture sheets. A few minutes spent doing this will dramatically increase the reliability of recording!

Then ask the class to record plants, soil pH, light levels and to collect leaf-litter invertebrates in a specific order Each group should

1. find their first quadrat position using a pair of random coordinates (e.g. 1.5, 4). One member walks 1.5m up one side of the area while another walks 4m up the adjacent side. They then walk into the area and they meet at the sampling position.
2. plae the gridded quadrat is placed on the ground and for each plant species (the list may be complete, or selective, depending on the number of species present) note the number of squares (out of 25) in which it occurs
3. record the number of different kinds of plant in the total area of the quadrat
4. carefully examine the leaf litter and surface soil within the area of the quadrat is and record the presence of different layers (if any) – are there differences in colour, degree of leaf brakdown?
5. put the leaf litter and surface soil from within the area of the quadrat into a labelled plastic bag which is then sealed and kept in the shade.
6. measure and record the pH of the surface soil
7. finally one member of the group stands in the centre of the quadrat position (after removing the quadrat) and looks vertically upwards through the canopy cover tube. Canopy cover is scored.

Sample size
The total number of quadrats put down for plant recording should ideally cover 1 – 2% of the sample plot; i.e. in a 10m x 10m plot an area of 1 – 2 square metres (4 – 8 quadrats of 50 x 50 cm) but probably a minimum of 16 is needed to emphasise the need for reliable data.

For leaf-litter samples one bag per group from each of the 2 areas is as much as can be examined in a reasonable time.

When all the quadrats have been completed, line up the whole group along one edge of the area and tree recording begins.
• assign a small group of pupils to help identify the trees and designate one as recorder.
• the group advances across the area; each time a pupil comes into contact with a tree he or she shouts ‘stop’ and the tree is identified and tallied
• then measure the trees to the required accuracy (e.g. 5.45m) using the most suitable method available (see appendix – measuring trees)

Ideally,identify and count invertebrates (careful handling) as soon as possible after capture, then released on site. They should be kept in the shade while awaiting examination

Handling and returning invertebrates – care and sustainability
It is critically important to handle invertebrates carefully and to return them to the place where they were found.
• they are fragile and slow-growing
• careless handling and drying out will kill them
• repeated removal will dramatically reduce populations; for example Pill millipedes need 10 -11 years to reach maturity and to reproduce!
• depletion will affect the results of future fieldwork
• depletion will also dramatically affect the woodland ecosystem!

Weighing invertebrates is not recommended, even though pyramids of biomass will be discussed later. Weighing is stressful and damaging to most invertebrates!

Leaving the site
Carefully check back in equipment and carry out a litter sweep.

On return to the classroom collect in recording sheets for safe keeping.
Before leaving pupils are asked to think about ways of collating presenting their findings.

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Measuring trees
Tree height
There are several ways of doing this. Here are two of them:

Using a clinometer

Walk away from the tree until you can form an angle of 45o between the top of the tree and your eye


(b)
(a)


The height of the tree in metres will be:
Your distance from the tree in metres plus the distance from your eye to the ground in metres, that is (a) + (b)

Using a ruler and a friend:

1. Hold a ruler straight out in front of you and line it up with the tree. Make sure that you can fit the whole tree into the length of the ruler!
2. Ask a friend to stand under the tree and record
• how many centimetres tall he or she seems to be on the ruler
• how many centimetres the tree seems to be on the ruler
3. Now do this sum:
a. Work out your friend’s real height in centimetres divided by what he or she measured on the ruler
b. Then multiply this figure by the height of the tree on the ruler.

For example: your friend is 1.5m tall (150 centimetres). He or she measures 2 centimetres on the ruler. The tree measures 25 centimetres on the ruler.

The height of the tree is:


X 25 = 1875 centimetres or 18.75 metres

Using a ruler and a 2m ranging pole
1. Hold a ruler straight out in front of you and line it up with the tree. Make sure that you can fit the whole tree into the length of the ruler!
2. Ask a friend to stand under the tree, holding a ranging pole vertically against the trunk, and record
• how many centimetres tall the ranging pole seems to be on the ruler
• how many centimetres the tree seems to be on the ruler
3. Now do these calculations:
• divide the apparent height of the tree in cm by the apparent height of the ranging pole in cm
for example tree appears to be 30cm, ranging pole appears to be 5cm so calculation is 30/5 = 6
• multiply the result by the actual height of the ranging pole (2m) so the calculation is 6 x 2 = 12 and the height of the tree is 12m.

Girth (circumference) of the tree trunk
This is usually measured 1.3 metres above the ground and is the distance round the trunk.

Tree canopy
Measure the broadest spread of the canopy, for example:

A bird’s eye view!

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KEY STAGE 4 SINGLE SCIENCE:
WOODLAND REGENERATION STUDY
RESOURCES NEEDED
Computer network for internet access and worksheet design and production
Virtual Quarry Resource – information on local woodlands in restored quarries
Information may also be available from English Nature, Woodland Trust and local Wildlife Trust websites
Digital cameras, photocopier, laminator for production of plant identification resources
Plastic gun clinometers.
ranging poles or canes
30m measuring tapes (available very cheaply from ‘Pound shops’);
Old metal knitting needles (available very cheaply from charity shops)
Soil pH kits
Large polythene bags for leaf-litter collection
Hand-lenses (or credit-card sized Fresnel lenses), plastic teaspoons, paint-brushes
Sorting trays – large white ice-cream or ‘spread’ cartons are good
Gridded quadrats and canopy cover tubes (could be produced in DT lessons);
gridded quadrat – each side 0.5m, divided into 25 equal squares


sides can be wood with nylon fishing line divisions, or whole quadrat made of wire.

Canopy cover tube

Petri dish with grid (divided into 4 quadrants) photocopied onto acetate and stuck inside. This is then glued onto the top of the canopy cover tube.
Plastic drainpipe (30mm diameter approx) with padding on bottom end to protect eye

Identification keys for woodland plants, trees and woodland litter invertebrates: Field Studies Council fold-out charts are convenient for fieldwork.
• Woodland name trail (minibeasts): FSC occasional publication no. 32. (This was written for Key Stage 2 – a more detailed Key Stage 3-4 version is in preparation)
• Woodland plants: FSC occasional publication no. 83
• Tree name trail: FSC occasional publication no. 81
All these are available from:
FSC Publications, Preston Montford, Shrewsbury SY4 1HW.
Tel. 0845 354 4072 fax 01743 852101
Email: publications@field-studies-council.org
Web site: www.field-studies-council.org

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Key Stage 4 Single Science:
Woodland regeneration in a restored quarry

Classroom/practical session: data collation and presentation
• hand data sheets back
• pupils enter data into prepared spreadsheets
• after auditing give printouts of all results to pupils
• allocate different sections of the data to groups of pupils and ask them to prepare displays which help to decide whether to accept or reject each hypothesis

Data collation and presentation
This is best done using networked spreadsheets designed by members of the group but examples are provided (appendices). Each spreadsheet should contain a summary sheet which can be accessed and a suitable chart type or types discussed.

Ask pupils to work in small groups preparing 5-minute presentations of the results of different sections of the work
• plant abundance
• species richness
• number of trees
• soil pH
• leaf-litter invertebrates
and interpreting them, relating the results to the original hypotheses and suggesting improvements to the way the work was carried out.

Ask them to:
• decide who will present what (ideally each member of the group should have a specific task) and then prepare the presentation in which they
• outline the topic they have investigated
• restate the original hypothesis
• summarise the sampling method(s)
• summarise the results, with simple data tables and charts as appropriate
• draw conclusions about their results
• state whether the results fit in with the original hypothesis
• say what sources they have used in preparing the work (books, web sites, acknowledgements of personal help)
• suggest refinements of methods
• suggest follow-up work (e.g. looking at light penetration at other times of year)

Coursework/homework
• internet research on individual species and their adaptations
• preparation of presentation by each group - who will say what

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Key Stage 4 Single Science:
Woodland regeneration in a restored quarry

Classroom sesssion 4: drawing it all together
This begins with a brief (5 minute maximum) presentation by each group as above.
Then look at the class results as a whole, discussing any differences between sites and the possible reasons for them, and looking at pyramids of numbers.

However it becomes obvious that there are far more consumers than producers – there are not many ground plants and trees, but probably hundreds of invertebrates - and this leads to the idea that pyramids of biomass are a better reflection of an ecosystem (but practically impossible because of the damage which will be caused to the system).

Seasonal variation can also be considered – many species are absent at the time of sampling – and the fact that the tree canopy was not sampled is brought out. Also, what about birds and mammals? They are rarely seen, let alone sampled!

Discussion points should include:
• adaptations of woodland plants to low light regimes, e.g. storage of resources in a bulb (Bluebell) or rhizome (Dog’s mercury, Bracken) to enable the plant to grow and mature before the tree canopy forms
• light - the reasons for using canopy cover tubes rather than light meters, changes in light intensity with season, movement of light patches within the woodland as the earth rotates during the day
• the role of trees and ground vegetation in nutrient uptake
• seasonal variations and the whole year cycle – the class sample is a ‘snapshot in time’
• the way in which leaf-litter is broken down by detritivores which leads to an increase in surface area and enables decomposers to act more efficiently (here some simple maths looking at the surface area of a 5x5cm cube (each of the 6 sides has an area of 25cm2 giving a total surface area of 150 cm2) and then at the same cube broken down into 1x1 cm cubes (each of the 125 cubes has a surface area of 6cm2 giving a total surface area of 750cm2).

Finally
Don’t forget to write to the landowner and send a set of results (and photographs of possible). This will not only provide useful information but also generate goodwill. Put the results on the school website – next year’s classes will find them useful!

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