Plants in Different Habitats Effects of Soil Moisture

Document Type:Lab Report

Subject Area:Biology

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Thereafter, the quadrat method used in data collection is discussed. In addition, the observations from the experiment have been highlighted and exhaustively discussed. Lastly, a general conclusion about the report is made. Introduction Different plant species adapt to different environmental conditions for survival. This fact explains why specific plant species can only be found in a given. The main reason for this is that different habitats have specific conditions that favor plant survival (“nature of plants: habitats, challenges, and adaptations, p 42”). For instance, it is impossible to find cactus nourishing in Iceland. Besides, tall trees can never survive in grassland areas. It is a rule of nature that a tree growing in forested areas would die if it were in a desert environment. Similarly, desert plants can never survive in water conditions as the water lily does. Generally, plant species adapt to different environmental conditions. In the instance where the conditions of the habitat are changing drastically, then adapting to the new conditions is necessary. Failure to which the species is deemed to go extinct (“nature of plants: habitats, challenges, and adaptations, p 42”). The purpose of this paper is to focus on the effects of soil moisture on different plant species. Effects of Soil Moisture on Plant Stem Density Water available is one of the most important determinants of plant density. Soil moisture affects the soil respiration. Higher soil moisture blocks the macrospore spaces. This, in turn, hinders the diffusion of both oxygen and soluble substrates. Oxygen becomes a limiting factor in excessively wet habitats whereas absorption soluble substrate becomes restricted in the dry habitats (“nature of plants: habitats, challenges, and adaptations, p 42”).

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Soils with moderate amounts of moisture supply support a wide range of plant species. This is because too much water content is just as detrimental to the plant growth rate as too little soil moisture content. In general, plants absorb moisture from the soil via the roots. Xylem tissues in the stem then transport the absorbed water. Excess water is stored in the bark of the plants. Clearly, high soil moisture content implies high stem densities. Method of Data Collection Quadrat Sampling Quadrat sampling technique is an important tool estimating the distribution and density of the plant species. Random sampling was used in order to eliminate the possibility of biasing the data (Pielou, p. This means that all the potential plots had equal chances for the sampling process. Usually, the quadrat-sampling technique involves measurement of plants in different quadrats.

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This is the most appropriate and fast method for estimating abundance of plants in the varied sample plots (Pielou, p. From the data above, quadrat 1 is characterized by dry soils. This can be quantified by the limited amount of leaf litter, which signifies low plant count. Besides, most of the land is bare ground. This implies that the soil moisture is low in this quadrat. The hypothesis says that the lower the moisture contents in the soil, the lower the plant count and less diversity in the plant species in a given habitat (BlahovecnadLahodova, p 43). This shows the importance of soil moisture in general plant growth and survival. Lastly, the third quadrat is likely to be grassland. The habitat has the highest percentage of grass count. Also, the area is well covered leaving the limited region as bare land.

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Apart from supporting the desert species of quadrat 1, the region can also support other two species. The fluctuating soil moisture in the grassland regions also affects the general plant growth and survival. Although the response of microbes to the changing soil moisture is unclear, intermittent dry conditions affects plant growth (BlahovecnadLahodova, p 47). Mostly there are numerous plant species during the rainy seasons. However, most of these species dries up and die as the dry conditions sets in. Water availability implies plenty nutrients, which consequently promotes plant growth. Most of the plant species get their water through absorption from the soil via their roots. Evidently, varieties of plant species thrive well in wet soils compared to dry soils. The experimental data presented supports this fact. This is clear because quadrat 1, which have a limited amount of moisture hardly supports any species.

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The second quadrat, seemingly, a wet soil supports a wide variety of plant species. The nature of plants: habitats, challenges, and adaptations.  Choice Reviews Online, vol.  42, no.  11, 2005, pp. Pielou, E.

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