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pools and the diameter of

Anemonia viridis (snakelock

anemones)

This investigation is done to see whether there is a relationship between the diameter of

Anemonia viridis and the diameter of rock pools.

For this my research question is “What is the Correlation between the volume of

rock pools, using a ruler, and the diameter, using Vernier calipers, of the Anemonia viridis

on the upper and middle shore (3.5m-4.0m above chart datum) on the Rocky Shore (grid

reference SM 819 050)

in Dale Fort”.

Prediction:

The larger volume of water in the larger rock pools allows for less intra and inter specific

competition. This is because there is more space in which the Anemonia viridis could spread.

Fewer competition between the Anemonia viridis means that more space is acquirable, each

of the anemones can grow to certain size before the space is too little. Too little space could

mean that sunlight will become unavailable for some snakelock anemones. Sunlight is

important because the Anemonia viridis uses photosynthesis to make energy. With no or

very little sunlight reaching the snakelock anemone, this process is not possible.

Furthermore, in larger rock pools there will be less competition between the snakelock and

other species which can be found in rock pools. All in all, a smaller rock pool also means less

abiotic factors such as nutrients. Less nutrients means that there will be fewer species and

smaller in size as they are less abundant. A larger rock pool also means that there is less

chance of desiccation. Desiccation is the drying out of rock pools which affects the upper and

middle shore the most as it is not reached by the high tides as often and therefore they have

no sufficient supply of water, meaning that they will dry out over time, killing the ecosystem

which developed within it. As I have done my research on the middle shore, it is a variable

that I am controlling to ensure a valid investigation. If the rock pool is bigger (in volume of

water) it would mean that it takes longer for it to dry out, and when located on the middle

shore there is no constant supply of water to fill the rock pools again. When the rock pool is

larger more time is needed for it to fully dry out. However, rock pool can’t be too big. Snake

lock anemones are only found in shallow water and rock pools as “they require high intensity

of light levels for the zooxanthellae symbiotic algae in it tissue to get power and energy” 1

From this I have composed both my Null Hypothesis and my Alternative Hypothesis:

- Null Hypothesis: There is no significant statistical correlation between the volume of

rock pools and the diameter snakelock anemones.

Snakelock-Anemone.html

- Alternative Hypothesis: There is no significant statistical correlation between the

volume of rock pools and the diameter of snakelock anemones.

Variables:

Variable?

Independent The volume of Using a 30cm ( ± 0.005 cm ) ruler and a 1m ( How does the

rock pools ± 0.500 cm ) ruler I measured the Length, volume of the

Width and Depth of the rock pools. The Rock rock pools

pools had a similar 3D shape as a Pyramid. affect the

Therefore, I made the assumption that they all diameter (size)

had a pyramidal shape. I then used the of the

equation Anemonia

viridis?

( Length ofbase ×Width of base)× Height

3

Where Length of base is the Length of the rock

pool, Width of Base is the width of the rock

pool and the Height is the depth in the rock

pool.

However, with this assumption there will be

significant errors in the accuracy of the

measured volume.

Dependent The Diameter of For this I will use a Vernier Calipers which uses

Anemonia cm ( ± 0.005 cm¿ . If there is more than one

viridis Anemonia viridis (Snakelock Anemone), I will

only measure the largest anemone.

I had a few variables I had to control as I was in an environment in which the habitat could

quickly change when you move a long it. Therefore, I had to ensure that I had valid research

making sure that I was only in the same type of habitat. The table below shows the Variables

and how they were controlled:

Type Variable Purpose Method of

Measurement

correlation in the data optical levels, this is to

found is due to the the keep it between 3.5 m

independent variable. ( ± 0.5 ¿ and 4.0 m (

± 0.5¿ . It gave me a

bit of space to work

within and it was an

area in which I would I

would be safe from the

water but still find

enough rock pools to

do my research

Exposure level (to To ensure that the Doing the data

sunlight, air and salt snake lock anemones collection on the same

water) and other organisms, beach (Rocky shore

found in Castle Beach, grid reference SM 819

have the same 050 ), thus exposure is

adaptations. the constant.

Same Rock type To ensure that it was it I made sure that I only

was in a similar chose rock pools with

biological habitat. In the same rock types.

addition different rock

types might mean

different adaptations

for the anemone, as

it’s foot might have to

attach differently to

the different rocks.

Similar levels of As I am looking at the I have done this by

desiccation volume of the rock being doing my

pools it is important measurements at the

that they have all had same time of day as

a similar time since the well as conducting my

tide had reached them, data collection at the

as the desiccation same height.

might have an impact

on the result.

Materials:

Materials Uncertainties

Meter Ruler Precise to 1 cm (± 0.50 cm)

30 cm Ruler Precise to 1 mm (± 0.005 cm)

Optical level Precise to 1 m ( ± 0.500 m)

Vernier caliper Precise to 1 mm (± 0.005 cm)

Using the materials listed above I went along and did my research which I did as follows:

Methodology:

1) Firstly, I had to determine the height I wanted to work at. I chose 3.5m-4m above

chart datum. To measure the height, I used a meter ruler and and an optical level. My

starting point was from where the current tide was at, which was at 2.5m. Someone

then walked along in a straight line and when their feet appeared to be above Optical

level it meant that their location was 1 meter higher.

2) Once determined the height, I had to measure a band that I would be working in. For

this I used two meter tapes. I rolled them out to 20 meters, from a higher ground at 4

meters to a lower ground at 3.5 meters. I then stayed within the area of the two

meter tapes. I established the area that I would do my research in by attaching a

meter ruler at both ends giving me an area of 20 m2.

3) After working out the height and the band I was to work in, I started measuring the

length, width, depth of the rock pools. For this I used a 1-meter ruler and a 30 cm

ruler. I moved from the higher shore (4m) along a 0.5-meter radius of my tape meter

and measured rock pools which were in this area (stratified sampling as it is nearly

the same shore height). If a rock pool was not fully within this area, I only measured it

if more than 50% of the rock pool were in the area.

4) To measure the diameter of the Anemonia viridis I decided to use the Vernier

Calipers, as I believed that they would give me the most precise measurements. In

addition, they would allow me to reach some Snakelock Anemones which were hard

to get to and still get a very accurate reading. They were accurate to 0.001 cm which

gave me an accurate measurement of their diameter. All rock pools contained more

than one Anemonia virids, thus I chose to measure the 3 biggest looking Anemonia

virids and take the largest value out of those three values.

Hazard Severity Likelihood Risk Score Control Reduced New Risk

1-5 1-5 Measures likelihood score

Slipping 3 1 3 Looking where I 1 2

am stepping

Drowning 5 1 5 Always having 2 3

an eye on the

tide

Falling of 2 2 4 Making sure I 1 3

Rocks am somewhere

where I can’t

lose my

balance

Cutting on 3 3 9 Checking my 2 7

sharp surrounds for

rocks any particular

sharp rocks to

Risk assessment:

In the table below you can see the measurements I took on the day. For the volume I

measured the Depth (in cm), the Width (in cm) and the Length (in cm) of each rock pool.

Site Depth rock pool Width of rock pool Length of rock pool

(in cm) ±0.5 cm (in cm) ±0.5cm (in cm) ±0.5cm

1 2.700 14.000 17.000

2 5.100 88.000 109.000

3 2.700 16.400 27.900

4 4.300 16.200 25.600

5 3.300 15.400 30.200

6 2.400 13.000 16.100

7 1.100 3.700 11.000

8 2.850 6.000 13.000

9 4.700 18.200 27.100

10 1.500 6.900 9.400

11 4.100 28.600 29.000

12 6.000 35.000 158.000

13 3.600 14.100 24.300

14 2.500 13.000 13.400

15 0.900 5.000 7.400

16 3.400 15.200 27.200

17 1.200 5.7000 36.700

18 2.600 14.600 21.400

19 7.100 42.300 134.000

20 8.100 16.700 29.500

As already mentioned, I made the assumption that the shape of all the rock pools were

evenly shaped pyramids. The data I collected allowed me to calculate the volume for the rock

length × width× hight

pools using the following formula: 3 = Volume of a pyramid.

The table below gives the value of the equations for each site, as well as the diameter

of Anemonia viridis found in the rock pool.

Site Volume of rock pools in cm3 Diameter of Anemonia viridis in

( ±0.001cm) cm (±0.001cm)

1 214.200 2.520

2 16.306 4.830

3 411.80 1.810

4 594.400 1.500

5 511.588 2.610

6 167.440 0.890

7 14.9230 0.610

8 74.100 1.705

9 772.711 2.595

10 32.430 1.190

11 11333.513 1.490

12 6636.000 4.005

13 411.156 1.635

14 147.400 0.805

15 33.300 0.460

16 468.565 1.440

17 83.676 1.110

18 270.281 2.220

19 13414.740 2.695

20 1330.155 2.290

Using this data, I made a scatter graph to get some visible idea of how my data might look.

6

0

0 2,000 4,000 6,000 8,000 10,000 12,000 14,000 16,000

From the scatter graph alone I cannot prove my hypothesis however it gives me some insight.

I can tell that I will not have perfect correlation going on. So to prove my hypothesis, I have to

calculate how much the two actually correlate to each other. I did this using the Pearson

Correlation Coefficient (r). “The Pearson correlation coefficient is used to measure the

strength of a liner association between two variables” 2. The values obtained from this

coefficient can range from +1 to -1.

To calculate this, I have made a table from which I will use the data, and put it into

the equation for the Pearson Correlation Coefficient.

Number

of sites Variable 1 Rank 1 Variable 2 Rank2 Difference Difference squared

1 214.20 13 2.520 7 6 36

2 16.306 15 4.830 1 14 196

3 411.80 10 1.810 9 1 1

4 594.400 7 1.500 12 -5 25

5 511.588 8 2.610 5 3 9

6 167.440 14 0.890 17 -3 9

7 14.923 20 0.610 19 1 1

http://www.socscistatistics.com/tests/pearson/

8 74.100 17 1.705 10 7 49

9 772.711 6 2.595 6 0 0

10 32.430 19 1.190 15 4 16

11 11333.513 3 1.490 13 -10 100

12 6636.000 2 4.005 2 0 0

13 411.156 11 1.635 11 0 0

14 147.400 16 0.805 18 -2 4

15 33.300 18 0.460 20 -2 4

16 468.565 9 1.440 14 -5 25

17 83.676 5 1.110 16 -11 121

18 270.281 12 2.220 8 4 16

19 13414.740 1 2.695 4 -3 9

20 1330.155 4 2.290 3 1 1

Total 622

As you can see I have ranked the values in the table according to the size of the number.

Thus, the largest numbers for Variable 1 (Volume of rock pools in cm 3) has a rank of 1, and

the largest number for Variable 2 (Diameter of Anemonia Viridis in cm) is also ranked 1. Then

I calculated the difference between the two, so for Site 11 I subtracted the rank of variable 2

from the rank of Variable 1 (3-13=-10). This value is the squared to get rid of any negative

values. The difference squared values are then added up to give a value.

To calculate the r value for the Pearson correlation coefficient you then use the

following formula:

-D2 is the difference

(6 Σ D2)

1− 3 squared

n −n - n is the number of

sites

If we add the data into the equation, we get:

6 ×622

1-( 20 3−20

¿ which equals to 0.4676 (correct to 4

s.f.)

The result above by itself is not of use to determine any statistical significant correlation

between the two variables. For this we use the Pearson’s correlation significance table.

Firstly, the degrees of freedom have to be calculated. Degrees of freedom refer to the the

number of results within a set of data that are free to vary. For a correlation the equation to

calculate the degrees of freedom is Degrees of Freedom=n−2 , where n is the number of

pairs or sites in the case of my investigation. The degrees of freedom for this investigation are

18.

Degrees of Freedom 0.1 0.05 0.01

The table above gives the Critical Values for the Pearson Correlation. We know that the

Degrees of freedom are 18. If my results can’t exceed the 95% confidence interval, I must

accept the null hypothesis. If it does exceed the 95% confidence interval, I can accept my

alternate hypothesis. The degree of confidence for this investment will be 0.468. This is very

close to my result, and assuming the next digit from the table is 0 then my results are lower

than the given number. This means I have not exceeded the 95% confidence and must

therefore accept the null hypothesis.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, after calculating my degrees of confidence, I had to accept my null hypothesis.

For me to be able to accept my alternate hypothesis I would have had to have a value above

0.468, however my value was 0.4676. Thus, there is no significant statistical correlation

between the volume of rock pools and the diameter snakelock anemones. There was just not

enough confidence to prove my alternate hypothesis. In addition, my investigation had a lot

of limitations which will be further explained in the evaluation.

Evaluation:

As mentioned, I did this investigation with a lot of limitations. These limitations possibly led

to the results I obtained. The first problem is that I only measure 20 sites, which is not

enough data as just one or two abnormalities could have messed my data up. To improve

this, I must do more measurements so I have sufficient data.

This investigation was done under the assumption that all the rock pools had the

shape of a pyramid. I chose to measure the volume like that because all the rock pools had

such uneven shapes and I did not have the equipment available to calculate an exact volume.

I had to therefore make and assumption regarding the shapes of the rock pools. Most rock

pools had a similar shape to a pyramid and thus I made the assumption that they all had the

shape of a pyramid. This will have led to some errors in my calculations. This assumption will

2016. http://www.statisticssolutions.com/table-of-critical-values-pearson-correlation/

have led to a substantial number of errors as it is basically an estimate of the volume and not

accurate at all.

Another problem in the methodology is the use of the optical level. We did not use a

modern optical level but rather something far more simple. This will have also led to errors

as the equipment we used to measure incline was not accurate. These limitations will have

had an impact on my results and have to be taken into account. The significance of this

limitation might not have been as big as the the assumption made for the shape of the rock

pools, but never the less it is something which might have affected my data as I might have

been lower or higher than I expected to be. To improve this, I could have used a more precise

optical level, like the ones used in construction. This would have allowed me to be far more

precise with my location and height.

Bibliography:

Websites:

“All The Sea”, Snakelock Anemones accessed 29th of July 16.

http://www.allthesea.com/Sea-Anemone-Snakelock-Anemone.html

http://www.socscistatistics.com/tests/pearson/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snakelocks_anemone

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Competition_(biology)

Book:

Andrew Allot and David Mindorff, 2014 Edition Biology Course Companion. Oxford: Oxford

University Press, 2014.

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