The these results had 95% significance. This means I

The results I have collected will allow me to either prove
or disprove my 4 hypotheses. These are;

·        
Soil moisture increases progressively away from
the sea

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·        
pH of the soil decreases progressively away from
the sea

·        
Percentage of vegetation cover increases progressively
away from the sea

·        
Dune height increases progressively away from
the sea

To answer my first hypothesis, I will be looking at figure
4, figure 7 and figure 8. Figure 4 shows a scatter graph of the results
collected at Studland, measuring the soil moisture in percentage. This graph,
however, does shows anomalies in my results around site 5, where water
percentage spikes to 60%, and around site 14, where water percentage drops to
25%. These may have been caused by tourists exploring the area, for example,
young children may by bringing buckets of water from the sea higher up the
beach and into the dunes where the soil is more absorbent, causing a spike in
the moisture, or people could be hiking along the back of the dune damaging and
eroding the organic matter that helps to retain the moisture, causing a drop-in
soil moisture. Looking at the trend line on this graph you can see clearly that
the line shows a positive gradient, meaning that this graph shows the soil
moisture increasing progressively away from the sea. This trend would suggest
that my prediction is correct, however the reliability of these results needs
to be tested. Hence figure 7, a spearman’s rank using the result collected
about soil moisture, using this statistical test I can see the probability that
my results did not happen by chance or coincidence. The spearman’s rank value
for this test calculated as 0.527. Using figure 8, the table of significance I
can see that these results had 95% significance. This means I can be 95% sure
that my hypothesis on soil moisture was correct, and I can accept my original
hypothesis.

Secondly, to answer my second hypothesis, I will be looking
at figure 5, figure 6 and figure 8. Figure 5 shows a scatter graph of the
results I collected at Studland, measuring the pH of the soil. This graph,
however shows an anomaly in my results around site 4, the pH drops to 4.40.
This may have been caused by storms and torrential rain, this may have weakened
the salinity and therefore alkalinity of the soil, or tourists walking along
the dunes may have eroded parts of the dune away, reducing salinity of the
ground by eroding away salt minerals. Looking at the trend line on this graph
you can see clearly that the line shows a negative gradient, meaning that this
graph shows the pH of the soil decreasing progressively away from the sea. This
trend would suggest that my prediction is correct, however the reliability of
these results needs to be tested. Hence figure 7, a spearman’s rank using the
results collected about pH of the soil, using this statistical test I can see
the probability that my results did not happen by chance or coincidence. The
spearman’s rank value for this test calculated as 0.629. Using figure 8, the
table of significance I can see that these results had 99% significance. This
means I can be 99% sure that my hypothesis on soil pH was correct, and I can
accept my original hypothesis.

Penultimately, to answer my third hypothesis, I will be
looking at figure 9, figure 10, figure 11 and figure 12. Figure 9 shows a
transect of Studland we studied, with bar graphs to show the vegetation present
at each site. These bar graphs show that the quadrat area we recorded is made
up of a wider variety of plants as you travel up the beach. For example, at
site 1, the area is made up of 100% bare sand whereas at site 14 the quadrat area
is made up of 20% gorse, 40% heather and 40% bell heather, looking at these
graphs and their progression, I would suggest that my hypothesis for this is
correct. Looking at figure 10, which are kite diagrams showing the distribution
of the and variety of vegetation along the transect. These diagrams also
support my hypothesis as they show that as you move along the transect the
variety and complexity of the plants increases. I can back up these resources
using a statistical test to see how accurate and reliable my results are. For
this I used Simpsons Diversity Index to test the diversity at each site. This
works by producing a number between 0 and 1, the nearer to one the higher the
diversity of the site. Figure 11 shows all my calculations for this test, and
how I obtained the result for each site, and figure 12 shows a table looking at
each result individually as well as a scatter graph, with a trend line to show
the distribution and overall progression of the Simpsons Index. This graph,
however, does show a couple of anomalies. These are shown at site 10, for
example, where the index drops to around 0.3, or at site 8 where it drops to
around 0.35. These may have been caused by tourists, walking along the dunes
and therefore trampling the vegetation and plants. This would mean that the
coverage of all the original plants may not be present, as more fragile plants
such as fern may have been wiped out from that particular area. Looking at the
trend, it shows a positive gradient, meaning that species diversity increases
progressively along the transect meaning percentage coverage does also. This
shows that my hypothesis on percentage vegetation cover was correct and I can
accept my original hypothesis.

Finally, to answer my fourth hypothesis, I will be looking
at figure 9. Figure 9 shows a to scale transect of the area we measured in
Studland, that shows the height and gradient of the dunes. The diagram shows
the height of the dunes gradually increasing along the transect, with a maximum
incline of +29°at site 7. This shows that my hypothesis is correct, and
dune height increases progressively away from the sea. This means I can accept
my original hypothesis.

Overall, the analysis of all my results and the tests I
carried out to support them have proved that all 4 of my original hypothesis are
correct and can be accepted. This will help me to answer my investigation title
of ‘How
the sand dune environment in Studland, Dorset changes progressively away from
the sea’ accurately with great reliability.