Outline the key findings from one of your practical field projects in Ecology and their ecological significance. In your response, refer to the use and application of important principles covered in the Unit, including experimental design, data exploration and analyses.. Ecology

Jurien Bay Plankton Field Project

The purpose of the project was the compare 2 methods of plankton capture - the light trap and the tow net.

Key findings:

  • Both good at catching different types of plankton
  • Light trap caught phototaxic types of plankton
  • Tow net caught everything in its path
  • Light trap gives a temporal scale of plankton, i.e. catch per unit time, or unit effort
  • Tow net gives a spatial scale of plankton, i.e. number per unit volume sampled

Experimental Design:

  • 6 light traps were set up at the end of the Jurien Bay Jetty, each for 30 minutes
  • 15 plankton tow nets were towed and the total volume of water sampled was calculated
  • The plankton were identified and counted

Data exploration and Analysis:

  • We compared the proportion of each taxa caught by each method and found that the 2 methods caught very different taxa.