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Summary of topic 2.2

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Summary of topic 2.2

  1. 1. Topic 2.2 Measuring Abiotic Factors
  2. 2. Abiotic Factors – Temperature – Rainfall – Light Climatic Factors – pH – Salinity – Nutrients – Availability of water Edaphic Factors (soil)
  3. 3. Measuring Abiotic Components • There are 3 main types of ecosystem where you might need to measure abiotic components: 1. Marine (sea, estuary, salt marsh, mangrove 2. Freshwater (river, lake, wetland) 3. Terrestrial Bozeman Science – what are abiotic factors
  4. 4. 1. Marine Ecosystems
  5. 5. 2. Freshwater Ecosystems
  6. 6. 3. Terrestrial Ecosystems
  7. 7. Distribution of Earth’s Water
  8. 8. Examples of Abiotic Components • Marine Ecosystem – – – – Salinity pH Temperature Dissolved oxygen – Wave action • Freshwater Ecosystem – – – – – Turbidity pH Flow Temperature Dissolved oxygen • Terrestrial Ecosystem – – – – – – Temperature Light intensity Wind speed Soil particle size Slope Soil moisture content – Drainage – Soil mineral content
  9. 9. Measuring Abiotic Factors • Light – Use a light meter – Use a standard and fixed height – Avoid shade – Take readings at the same time of day – Standardise the direction it points
  10. 10. Measuring Abiotic Factors • Temperature – Use an electronic probe with a datalogger – Use a standard height above ground or a standard depth
  11. 11. Measuring Abiotic Factors • pH – Use an electronic probe with a datalogger – Use a standard depth – Make sure the probe is clean – Make sure it is calibrated properly
  12. 12. Measuring Abiotic Factors • Soil Particle Size – Large (stone-sized) particles can be measured individually – The volume of smaller particles can be measured using a series of successively finer sieves – Even smaller particles can be separated by sedimentation
  13. 13. Measuring Abiotic Factors • Windspeed – Use a digital anemometer if possible – A homemade propeller could be made – Indirect measurements can be made using the Beaufort scale
  14. 14. Measuring Abiotic Factors • Slope – Use a clinometer For a slope of x◦: Percentage slope = tan(x) x 100
  15. 15. Measuring Abiotic Factors • Soil moisture content – Weigh soil sample before and after heating and calculated the mass of water evaporated off – Repeated readings taken until there is no further change
  16. 16. Measuring Abiotic Factors • Water flow velocity – Time how long it takes a floating object to travel a fixed distance, i.e. Pooh Sticks – Alternatively a probe with a propeller attachment may be used
  17. 17. Measuring Abiotic Factors • Mineral Content – Minerals are non-volatile – If you have an oven which heats a sample safely to 500 – 1000oC for a number of hours, the remaining mass will be the mineral content
  18. 18. Measuring Abiotic Factors • Salinity – Salinity can be measured indirectly by measuring electrical conductivity (using a conductivity probe with a datalogger) – Conductivity is a measurement if the ion content of a sample of water (in parts per thousand, ppt, %o)
  19. 19. Measuring Abiotic Factors • Dissolved oxygen content – Use a dissolved oxygen probe connected to a datalogger
  20. 20. Measuring Abiotic Factors • Wave action – Use a dynamometer – an instrument which measures the force of waves
  21. 21. Measuring Abiotic Factors • Turbidity – This is a measure of the cloudiness of a water sample – It can be measured using a Secchi disc. The depth to which it must be lowered into the water in order to just become invisible is measured – Alternatively a turbidy meter can be used. This shines light through a sample and records its absorbance by the sample List whether each of these methods is suitable for marine, freshwater or terrestrial ecosystems

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