Wednesday, August 11, 2010

*The Final Steps...*

The week of July 26, I continued to assist in the Forest Restoration Project with Dr. Aronson. This project was very successful and it helped me significantly with my plant identification. I also began to work on the analysis of my bulbil dispersal experiment. I worked closely with Nick, one of the students from South Side high school, on the preliminary data and made sure that he understood the process of analyzing data in a research project.

The week of August 3, I did some more field work and began to work on the methods section of my paper. I worked with Dr. Sanford on understanding how to use statistical programs and analyzing the data for my bulbil dispersal experiment. We performed a regression analysis on bulbils that had buoyancies below 0 and the ones that had buoyancies above 0. The results showed that there was no relation between the bulbil’s buoyancy and time to sink. However, my research did show that bulbils can travel 0.002 m/sec.

I also performed some more statistical tests on my diversity sampling data with the help of Dr. Aronson. There was a significant difference in species richness between invaded and non-invaded plots at Muttontown Preserve. The average invaded mean was 5.6 and the average non-invaded mean was 7.3. There was no significant difference in diversity between invaded and non-invaded plots at Muttontown Preserve. The invaded mean was 1.31 and the non-invaded mean was 1.04. At Prospect Park, there was no significant difference in species richness between invaded and non-invaded plots. The invaded mean was 1.8 and the non-invaded mean was 1.6. There was not a significant difference between diversity in invaded and non-invaded plots at Prospect Park as well. The invaded mean was 0.46 and the average non-invaded mean was 0.26. The number of plots was limited due to the small size of the invasion as well as environmental conditions that consisted of Norway Maples casting deep shade. Therefore, the skewed results reflect the conditions of the site.

The Greenhouse portion of my experiment was not as successful as I intended it to be. I have not observed any growth, except for a few weeds, and it has been about a month. Therefore, Dr. Aronson and I have decided to remove the flats from the high school and bring them back to Hofstra. We will keep them in a growing chamber, where the lighting conditions would better support the plants. We believe that the seeds have not been stratified long enough. As a result, we will perform a new seed addition and start the process over right away.

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