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Biology & Ecology at A Level

All fieldwork can involve problem identification, hypothesis formulation, data collection methods, presentation techniques and statistical analysis. The fieldwork can be used as training for possible personal projects, for improving field studies techniques and for greater understanding of a variety of topics being studied at A Level. All the topics listed below can be presented at a level suitable for AS.

Woodlands and Uplands

Woodland Microclimate.  The study of the variations in microclimate in contrasting woodlands.

Vegetation Associations.  A study of the changes in vegetation communities over time.

Wetland Ecosystems.  Analysis of plant productivity and growth habit in upland bog communities.

Upland Ecosystems.  Analysis of plant productivity and growth habit in upland communities.

Woodland Ecosystems.  Study of the biotic and abiotic characteristics of two contrasting woodland areas, identifying vegetation cover and invertebrate fauna.

Woodland Management.  A study of the development, ecology and management of woodlands comparing natural deciduous woodland with planted coniferous woodland.

Forest Regeneration.  Recovery of land following clear-felling; also the changes in ecosystems following planting.

Forest Management.  Land use in forests, the development and management of change; commercial forestry visit.

Follow Up Work.  A range of oral and visual presentation of findings combined with graphical representation of results and hypothesis testing. Techniques such as measuring soil profiles and soil pH, light intensity and tree density.

Dunes and Coasts

The Ecology of Rocky Shores.  In comparing an exposed shore and a sheltered shore we will: Investigate the effect of wave action on frond length in Pevetia canaliculata. Record the distribution and abundance of species population. Calculate community diversity using the SC Index.

Rocky Shore and Sandy Shore.  A study of contrasting environments; looking into the biotic and abiotic differences and investigate the adaptations that have taken place.

Zonation.  A study of the zonation of lichens on the rocky shores. Including the use of line and belt transects to record the distribution and abundance of species.

Rocky Shore Ecology.  A study of the general ecological niches found at:

  • The lower shore
  • The middle shore
  • The upper shore and splash zone
  • Management of a Coastal Nature Reserve.  A study of the ecology and management of differing form of coasts and their protection from over-use.

    Dune Management.  A study of the management of differing form of coasts and their protection from over-use.

    Plant Succession

    Sand Dune Succession.  Investigating a Primary Succession by recording changes in the vegetation and abiotic variables across a dune system.

    Pond Succession.  Investigating the succession of plants over time; looking at the changes taking place from the edge of a pond towards its centre.

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