In meaning it is made mostly of

In
this investigation, I will be considering how the sand dune environment of
Studland, Dorset changes progressively away from the sea. I have chosen to
study the area of Studland for many reasons. This includes the ease of access
as the area is only 20 miles from where I live and there are plenty of
transport routes including a ferry across from Sandbanks to Shell Bay. Also,
this area has all the resources and correct environments that are needed to
explore my hypothesis. As well as this Studland is a certified national trust
area, this means the area is considered as a safe and protected area that is
suitable for visitors, allowing me to undertake my investigation with ease.
There are several questions with varying hypotheses that I will investigate to
understand my original statement. These include:

·        
How moisture content varies progressively away from the sea

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·        
How the percentage of vegetation cover varies progressively away
from the sea

·        
How the alkalinity strength of the land varies progressively away
from the sea

·        
How the height of the dunes varies progressively away from the sea

My
hypothesis for how moisture content varies progressively away from the sea is
as follows. I believe that moisture content will increase progressively away
from the sea. This is because nearer the sea the ground has little humus
content meaning the ground id mostly sand. This lack of humus means that the
ground is unable to retain much water meaning that there is little moisture
within the ground, however, as you retreat further away from the sea the humus
content increases within the ground meaning it is made mostly of nutrient rich
soil that can retain water and therefore moisture within the ground. As the
humus gradually increases away from the sea then I predict that the moisture
will also gradually increase away from the sea.

My
second hypothesis for the percentage of vegetation cover is that as you travel
away from the sea the vegetation cover will increase. This is because of the
amount of plant species that can survive in difficult environments, for
example, there are few species that can survive near the sea edge where there
is little or no humus content, that supplies vital minerals and nutrients
needed for many plants to grow and thrive. Species such as marram grass can
survive in such environments because of their long roots that allow them to
find water deep in the ground and help them to anchor to the weak sand ground.
However, further away from the sea humus content increases and so does
nutrients needed for most plants therefore meaning more species, such as
heather and gorse, can grow in the sand dune environment, this means that as
you move up the beach away from the sea and into the dunes vegetation cover
will increase.

Thirdly,
my hypothesis for alkalinity is that as you move away from the sea, alkalinity
will decrease, this is because of salt content. Near the sea the ground has a
very high salt content due to the saline waters. Salt is blown up the beach by
the wind and integrated within the ground. The water increases the grounds
alkalinity because the pH of the sea is around an average of 8.1, making it
slightly alkaline, this is then absorbed into the ground, increasing pH of the
ground. As you travel away from the sea the salinity decreases, due to the lack
of sea water nearby and therefore so does alkalinity.

Finally,
my hypothesis of dune height is that as you move away from the sea the dune
height will increase. This is because of the formation of different dune types.
These include embryo dunes, yellow dunes, grey dunes and mature dunes. Embryo
dunes are the smallest type, this is because this is where the dunes begin to
form, they are small because there is no soil 
to hold them in place, there is only species such as marram grass which
acts as a trap for sand and supports it slightly, whereas yellow dunes are
slightly taller and larger, this is because of increases soil stability, there
is more shelter and less salt carried by the wind meaning that soil quality is
better, increasing plants to anchor the dune and less wind to blow the sand
away that could destroy the dune. Grey dunes are the very last dunes. They have
a very high proportion of organic material and darker, richer soils account for
the name grey dunes. Here shrubs start to grow. This means the dune is very
sheltered and well supported. The many plants and shrubs help the dune to grow
higher as they help to collect and support soil.

I
will investigate the results of my data I collect from my fieldwork and prove
or disprove these hypotheses, helping me to give an answer to my original
statement; How the sand dune environment in Studland, Dorset changes
progressively away from the sea

 

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