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Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate

Geography

General Topic: Natural Vegetation


Candidate Name: Marissa
Candidate Number:
School:
School Code:
Country/Territory:
Year of Examination:
Teacher:

TITLE:
A comparison of
Soesdyke Highway.

the factors influencing vegetation type in two areas along the Linden-

TABLE OF CONTENTS

TITLE

PAGE

Aims of Study.2
Location of Study
- Map of Guyana......3
- Site Map.....4
Methodology....5
Analysis of Data and Discussion.........6
Conclusion ....15
Appendices
-

Appendix 1: Observation Table for Trees.....16


Appendix 2: Observation Table for Shrubs...17
Appendix 3: Observation Table for Lianas18
Appendix 4: Observation Table for Epiphytes..19
Appendix 5: Observation Table for Soil...20

Bibliography ....21

AIMS:
The aims of this study are:
(i)

To describe the type of vegetation found in two areas along the Linden- Soesdyke

(ii)

Highway;
To discuss the reasons for the observed differences of the type of vegetation found in
the two areas along the Linden-Soesdyke Highway.

METHODOLOGY

On the 2nd December, 2014 between 7:30hrs and 15:00hrs the researcher, along with the
Fifth Form Geography class and teachers, journeyed to the Linden-Soesdyke Highway, Guyana
(two areas of vegetation/ forest) to conduct research on the Geography School Based Assessment
(SBA).
The students of the Geography class were divided into six groups which were further
subdivided giving each student a specific focal area. Two groups were identified to observe trees
and the remaining four focused on lianas, epiphytes, shrubs and soil. In order to correctly
categorize the characteristics of vegetation and soil observation tables, which can be found in the
appendix, were made.
Two areas were chosen one arid/dry and the other wet/swampy- which allowed for a clear
understanding of the differences and similarities of soil type and vegetation in each area.
Descriptions were based on the random selection of vegetation within the study areas and tape
measures were used to obtain measurements of the vegetation.

ANALYSIS OF DATA AND DISCUSSION

Soil
Soil is one of the three major natural resources, alongside air and water. Soil is made up of three
main components minerals that come from rocks below or nearby, organic matter which is the
remains of plants and animals that use the soil, and the living organisms that reside in the soil.1
The soil present in the first site (dry area), contained a layer of humus which held much
moisture. It was also quite thick. . Beneath this layer there was another layer made up mainly of
grey sand with little humus content and freshly fallen leaves formed the upper-most layer of the
soil. There were many soil organisms such as ants and earthworms present in this area but there
were no visible bodies of water.
The soil present in the second site (which was damp and largely waterlogged), was made
of a mixture of sand, clay and humus ( a thin layer of humus mainly due to the presence of
water). There were fewer organisms than in the forest area but the dampness encouraged dense
undergrowth. The water in the area consisted of two visible bodies of water: a running stream
and a stagnant pond.

Trees
Trees are woody perennial plants with a single, thick stem and branches that can grow to a great
height.

1 (n.d). In Soil For Schools retrieved from http://www.soilnet.com/legacy/schools/what_is_soil1.htm on January 16, 2015.

Five species of trees were found in the forested area. The leaves varied from 10 cm to 23
cm in length and 2.5 cm to 10 cm in width. The trunks varied from as little as 115 cm to as much
as 520 cm in height, and from 10 cm to 75 cm in width.
Figure 1: Characteristics of Trees in the Forest Area
Species

Leaf Type

Length of

Width of

Height of

Width of

Root

Frequency

A
B

Ovate
Elliptical

Leaf
16cm
23cm

Leaf
6cm
10cm

Trunk
115cm
250cm

Trunk
41cm
75cm

System
Tap
Tap

24
15

Ovate

10cm

2.5cm

325cm

10cm

Tap

Ovate

23cm

8.75cm

430cm

23cm

Tap

13

Elliptical

22.5cm

3.2cm

520cm

62cm

Buttress

20

Source: Observation Tables

Figure 2 : Categories of Trees in the Forest Area


30
25
20
% Frequency 15
10
5
0

Species

Source: Observation Tables


Species A was the most dominant in this area, and Species C was the least dominant.

In the swampy area though, six species of trees were found. The leaves varied from 5 cm
to 40 cm in length and from 1.5 cm to 18 cm in width. The trunks varied from 160 cm to 1200
cm in height and 43 cm to 84 cm in width.
Figure 3: Characteristics of Trees in the Swampy Area
Species

Leaf Type

Length of

Width of

Height of

Width of

Root

Frequency

A
B

Pinnate
Ovate

Leaf
29cm
11cm

Leaf
4cm
4cm

Trunk
360cm
1200cm

Trunk
43cm
84cm

System
Tap
Buttress

16
32

Pinnate

14cm

5cm

200cm

54cm

Fibrous

Ovate

5cm

1.5cm

160cm

60cm

Tap

10

Ovate

6cm

2.5cm

330cm

65cm

Tap

17

Pinnate

40cm

18cm

480cm

51cm

Fibrous

12

Source: Observation Tables

Figure 4 : Categories of Trees in the Swampy Area


35
30
25
20
Frequency 15
10
5
0

Species

Species E was the most dominant in this area, and Species C was also the least dominant.

The presence of water in the area is one of factors contributing to a difference in observations in
the two areas. The absence of water in the dry area led to taller trees with slender trunks.
The dry area also had more variety than the swamp area because more trees adapt easily to dry
conditions, and fewer species can adapt to the water-logged conditions of the swamp area.
Shrubs
A shrub is a woody plant of low height with several perennial stems that may be erect arising
from near the base of the main stem or may be positioned close to the ground. Shrubs have an
average height of less than 390 cm.
There were eight categories of shrubs found in the forest area. All of the species observed had
net-veined leaves and tap root systems. The leaves varied from 6 cm to 12 cm in length and 2 cm
to 4 cm in width. The stems varied from 7 cm to 55 cm in height and 5 cm to 28 cm in width.

Figure 5: Categories of Shrubs in the Forest Area


13%

13%
8%

15%
7%
11%

14%
18%
Species A

Species B

Species C

Species D

Species E

Species F

Species G

Species H

Source: Observation Tables


As can be seen in Figure 5, the most dominant of the shrubs was Species E and the least
dominant were Species C and G.
Due to a clearing being present in the forested area because of the falling of trees sunlight
couldve reached the forest floor thus resulting in the growth of shrubs. Large varieties were
found in these areas.
In the swampy area though, four species of shrubs were found. All of the species in this area had
net-veined leaves and tap root systems. The leaves varied from 6 cm to 10 cm in length and 3.5
cm to 10 cm in width. The stems varied from 12 cm to 30 cm in height and 5 cm to 15 cm in
width.

Figure 6: Categories of Shrubs in the Swampy Area


30
25
Species A

20
Frequency

Species B
Species C

15

Species D

10
5
0
Categories

Source: Observation Tables


As can be seen in Figure 6, the most dominant of the shrubs was Species D and the least
dominant was Species C.

One of the main factors influencing the shrubs in an area is the presence of sunlight in
dry soil conditions. When a tree falls, it makes a way for sunlight to get to the forest floor. When
sunlight gets to the forest floor, in the dry conditions as seen in the forest area, it encourages the
growth of shrubs. In the swampy area, however, there was a continuous canopy and waterlogged
conditions so fewer shrubs were found in this area.
Lianas
Lianas are woody climbing plants which need support and hang from trees.
Seven species were found in this area. Six of the species had net-veined leaves but only one had
straight-veined leaves. For the species with net-veined leaves, the leaves varied from 13 cm to 30
cm in length and 10 cm to 14 cm in width. The stems varied from 52 cm to 160 cm in height and
0.3 cm to 9.5 cm in width. As for the species with straight-veined leaves, the leaves were about
16 cm in length and 4 cm in width. The stems were about 60 cm in height and 5 cm in width.

Figure 7: Categories of Lianas in the Forest Area


14
12
10
8
6
Frequency

4
2
0

Categories

Source
: Observation Tables
In contrast, the swampy area had five categories of lianas. Four of the species had netveined leaves but only one had straight-veined leaves. For the species with net-veined leaves, the
leaves varied from 13.5 cm to 27 cm in length and 5 cm to 19.5 cm in width. The stems varied
from 43 cm to 147 cm in height and 0.6 cm to 1.2 cm in width. As for the species with straightveined leaves, the leaves were about 18 cm in length and 4 cm in width. The stems were about 43
cm in height and 6 cm in width.

Figure 8: Categories of Lianas in the Swampy Area


8
7
6
5
Frequency

4
3
2
1
0
Species A

Species B

Species C

Species D

Species E

Categories

Source
: Observation Tables
The warm, humid climate allowed for a variety of species to grow creating a competition
for light and space. Lianas twine themselves around trunks and branches of their hosts to receive
sunlight. These species cannot survive easily on the forest floor. There were a lot of lianas in the
forest area. Fewer categories were found in the swampy area because not many species can
thrive in waterlogged conditions.

Epiphytes
Epiphytes are plants that use dead material which has collected in the forks of trees, for example,
as a place in which to root rather than in the soil. They simply use the tree for support but derive
no nourishment from the tree itself.

In the Forest Area, six species were found in this area on the branches of trees. All of which had
net-veined leaves. The leaves varied from 15 cm to 30.6 cm in length and 3 cm to 11 cm in
width.
While, in the swampy area, only one species of epiphytes was found. It had net-veined leaves
which were about 12 cm in length and 7 cm in width.
Figure 9: Categories of Epiphytes in both Areas
Species

Number in the Forest Area

Number in the Swampy

Area
1

B
C
D
E

10
12
13
11

0
0
0
0

F
Source: Observation Tables

There were numerous trees in the forest area and well developed branches for epiphytes to thrive.
In the swampy area, most of the trees were palms and the epiphytes could not find any suitable
support.

CONCLUSION

The aims of the study were: to describe the type of vegetation found in two areas along
the Linden-Soesdyke Highway and to discuss the reasons for the observed differences in
vegetation found in the two areas long the Linden-Soesdyke Highway.
The study was conducted as the students visited two areas along the Linden Soesdyke Highwaythe first a Forest Area and the second a Swamp Area- where they, divided into six groups,
observed, recorded and later analysed the different aspects of each environment (trees, shrubs,
lianas, epiphytes and soil). The vegetation found was categorized by random letters of the
alphabet and the lengths and widths of leaves and stems were all recorded.
Unlike the swampy area, the drier forest area had a variety of species growing because
most of the moisture that came from rain. This area was also very warm. Fewer species grew in
the Swampy area which was waterlogged and suitable mainly for the growth of palms. The forest
floor was generally free of vegetation except when a tree would have fallen and enabled light to
reach the forest floor leading to the growth of a variety of shrubs. Epiphytes were found where
there were branches for support, and there was only one species found in the swampy area
where there were a lot of palms growing.

BIBLIOGRAPHY