Assessment : Rock Platform Report.
Assessment : Rock Platform Report
Rationale This assessment aims to further your skills in sampling for field work investigations, with a focus on a rock platform community. It will develop your skills in data collection, multivariate data analysis and interpretation, presentation of findings in written form, and placing them in the context of the scientific literature.
Task Students will attend a field trip to a rock platform and conduct an investigation into fauna of a rock platform community. Systematic sampling of the rock platform biota will be conducted from the high tide mark down towards the low tide mark. Graphs and multivariate data analysis will be used to answer the question whether species are distributed at random across the rock platform, or not. Upon finishing all activities and worksheets in the Practical, you will be required to write a report for assessment. Use the structure below for your report.
Structure for the report Title (10 � 15 words) Concise description of the investigation which gives the reader sufficient detail to know what was studied, or what question was asked, or what the major finding was.
Introduction (400 � 500 words) In this section, you will be required to introduce the investigation, make a case for it, and guide readers by: i) stating the investigation and its context; ii) providing some background information to the investigation; iii) specifying the aims of the investigation and research questions.
Methods (200 � 300 words) In this section, you will be required to specify the: i) experimental design of the investigation; ii) field methods used in the investigation; iii) methods to handle and analyse data.
Results (250 � 400 words excluding tables and graphs)
In this section, you will be required to present the data in the form of tables and graphs, and describe the results in accompanying text.
Data presentation will include: i) individual species graphs of abundance or cover vs. distance from baseline; ii) figures and tables produced by the statistical software package used.
Verbal description will include: i) description of the pattern of distribution and abundance/cover; ii) description of any pattern that emerges in the MDS and Cluster analyses; iii) interpretation of the test for randomness of species distribution by ANOSIM.
Discussion (500 � 700 words) Gives an informed commentary on the results that were actually obtained in the investigation, stating whether the results answer the question or address the aims stated earlier. The outcome of the investigation is placed in the context of current knowledge, using citation of appropriate literature. For this Report, use the questions below to structure this section.
Your own results (half of the Discussion marks)
What do your own results show about how species are distributed on the rock platform? Are the species limited in their distribution to certain areas of the shore, or do they occur with equal frequency all along the transect, or randomly anywhere along it? What evidence from your own results answers this question (do not simply repeat your results section, but draw out your major findings)
Relating your results to the literature (half of the Discussion marks)
How do your results link to what is known about rock platforms, from the literature? What does the literature tell us about how the rock platform community varies in space, and in time? If you sampled further in space (more transects on this headland, other headlands) and in time (repeat visits), would you see the same community that you saw on this trip, or not? (consult literature e.g. Underwood 1981). What factors are known to contribute to spatial and temporal variation in distribution and abundance of species on rocky shores?
Reference list You will be required to provide a reference list for all in-text citations you use to support your arguments. You will be required to use the Harvard style.
Criteria You will be assessed on: i) the extent to which you cover all required information in each section in the body of the report; ii) the presentation of your report.
Resources Journal articles and book chapters relevant to this investigation are listed on vUWS.
Rubric: Assessment � Rock Platform Report The report will be marked out of 50 marks, using the rubric below. The total marks you receive will be converted into equivalent:
Introduction: A clear and concise introduction covers all required information, with comprehensive context and background information, creative aims and research questions.
Methods: Clearly and concisely states the study design, lists all steps in the methods and describes all methods to handle and analyse the data. 5 marks 0-2 marks 2.5 marks 3 marks 4 marks 5 marks
Results: Highly effective use of table and graphs that highlight all the trends and patterns of data; Clear, concise and detailed description of the results, each point is clearly linked to relevant data.
Discussion: Answers with good insight into underlying processes are given; all are clearly and correctly linked to results. References are well used to convincingly confirm/refute/extend each of the findings, references come from a wide range of quality sources.
Presentation: Report has informative and clear title and appendix. The report is constructed coherently and cohesively. Biological names are used consistently correctly Conventional grammar, spelling and punctuation, with no errors or typos. Consistently correct use of the Harvard referencing style, maybe with very minor errors.
( this information of Rock platform practical at the site
These are your aims, to determine:
i) what species are present; ii) what areas they occur in (distribution); iii) how many of them there are within their distribution (abundance); iv) are the species distributed randomly across the rock platform?
Think about how you need to collect your data to answer these aims.
2 x 1m2 quadrat; 25×25 cm quadrat; 2 x 30 m tape measure; 3 x 1 m rules (levelling staffs with a spirit level); clipboard/pencil/paper & an ID guide.
Design of your investigation
Think about replication, quadrats, transects or both?
( please must be Australian English and easy reading).