Testing Soil from an Abandoned Field for Future Secondary Succession (page 2)
Empty coffee can, large clear plastic or glass bowl, water, clear plastic wrap, and soil taken from an abandoned field also, an optional digital camera.
With the exception of the soil all of the items for this project are available locally at most major retail (Wal-Mart, Target, Dollar general, etc) discount department stores also, a Tri-fold cardboard display board can be purchased from an art & crafts supply store.
A test soil sample can be gathered from an abandoned field, cleared construction area, bank of a eutrophic pond*, cleared or vacant farmland, or a vacant city lot.
- What materials are required?
- Where can the materials be found?
|Name of abandoned field from which soil sample was taken:|
|Succession Days||Number of Plants Seen||General Observations|
- Scope up a sample of soil using an empty coffee can or other large container from an abandoned field, cleared construction area, bank of a eutrophic pond, cleared or vacant farmland, or a vacant city lot.
- Place the natural soil brought from the abandoned area into the large bowl, and dampen the soil with water.
- Cover the top of the bowl with plastic wrap, and place the bowl in a sunny window.
- For 2 weeks, observe the bowl for any new plant growth. Describe and count the number of plants observed.
- Record these and all other observations in the table similar to the one shown.
- Using graph paper or a computer equipped with Excel® visually display the data in the table by plotting a bar or line graph showing the number of plants verse days of succession.
- The time (days) is displayed along the horizontal axis and the number of plants seen growing if any (population), is displayed along the vertical axis.
- Note: Do not allow the soil to dry out and using a pair of tweezers remove areas of mold that may develop inside of the bowel.
Terms/Concepts: For the parent/student, what terms and concepts are required to better understand the project?; Ecological succession, primary succession, secondary succession, pioneer species, eutrophic pond;
References to related books
Title: Ecological succession
Authors: Frederic P. Miller, Agnes F. Vandome, and John McBrewster
Publisher: Alphascript Publishing ISBN-13: 9786130235949 and ISBN: 6130235941
This book is about ecological succession and offers a comprehensive discussion on primary and secondary succession. The young investigator and his or her parents (teachers) can use this book as a general reference resource.
Links to related sites on the web
Title: Ecological Succession
Title: Primary and Secondary Succession
Title: Facts about Secondary Succession
Title: Ecological Succession
NOTE: The Internet is dynamic; websites cited are subject to change without warning or notice!
Warning is hereby given that not all Project Ideas are appropriate for all individuals or in all circumstances. Implementation of any Science Project Idea should be undertaken only in appropriate settings and with appropriate parental or other supervision. Reading and following the safety precautions of all materials used in a project is the sole responsibility of each individual. For further information, consult your state’s handbook of Science Safety.