Studying the Maltese Forest.
Since the only forest in Malta is Buskett, we studied an area from this forest. Here we are describing our work. An area of around 50m by 50m was chosen. The criteria of selection were:
to chose an area that is not cultivated by man and that grows wild
that is safe to study i.e. no one can fall from high levels, there are no wells, no one can get lost
where there is species richness and not bare land.
The students were grouped in 3s or 4s and every group had to study 10m by 10m.
Quadrat method was used to sample and study the area. The following instructions were given to the students.
Calculating the species diversity using quadrats.
Aim: To analyse the species diversity in a particular area at Buskett.
Apparatus: quadrat, foreceps, writing material, measuring tape, string.
1. Find a suitable area at Buskett where the analysis could be carried out.
2. Measure the area.
3. Mark the area to be studied by placing a string at the perimeter.
4. Draw a map of the area to be studied.
5. Throw the quadrat over the shoulder without looking at where the quadrat will fall. Make sure that it doesn’t fall out of the marked area. If it does, pick it up and throw it again.
6. Move closer to the quadrat and analyse all the living organisms that you see inside. Take note of any vegetation, snails, insects, worms, etc.
7. Repeat steps 4 and 6 10 times. Try to cover all the area.
8. Analyse the results.
Results: draw a map of the area and indicate in which part was each quadrat thrown.
What is the species diversity? (total number of different organisms found)
Which were the organisms found?
Which biotic component is most abundant?
Which biotic component is least abundant?
How were organisms distributed? (e.g. was there an organism found more in the shade, or in the sun, or near stones, or near a tree, etc)