Table of Contents
Interpretation of the results
Taking a look at the findings on the transect results, it can be deducted that the elevation and the distance from the channel and mouth have an effect on the distribution of salt marsh species Frankenia salina and Sarcocornia pacifica species. The fact that these two species have shown this significant difference implies that even in a case where more species could have between found each would still have had difference ability to survive in the different conditions just as the two species had.
The test of difference in salinity on the distance from the mouth, the salinity increases with increase in the distance from the mouth. This implies that if water resource is far away from the mouth the percentage of salt in it is higher. Now that the distribution of the two species Frankenia salina and Sarcocornia Pacific have different distributions depending on the distances from the mouth it, therefore, means that these two species have their distribution and existence affected by the salinity of an area (Crain et al.). Taking a look at the effect of elevation on this species distribution, it is clear that elevation may not be affecting the distribution directly, but still, it affects it indirectly. Since elevation affects the level of salinity and the level of salinity affects the species distributions, therefore, elevation affects the species distribution.
Other studies have also shown that there in considerable difference in the distribution of the species in different areas based on the salinity of the soils. Pennings et al argue that even among the salt marsh plants there is a considerable variation of salty conditions that they can tolerate. The studies also show that soil salinity also varies across marsh elevation and that is according Farina et al.
Just as our research proved that the factors such as elevation cause differences in soil salinity and different species have different distributions in different salinity levels, the studies by different researchers like Pennings and Farina also proves the same ideas. The researchers also show that soil salinity at times drops and rises as the marsh undergoes the cycles of wetting and drying. This means that even the cycles of wetting and drying also influence the distribution of the various species of this vegetation and that is according to Crain and friends in their article the Physical and the biotic drivers of plant distribution across estuarine salinity gradients.
Limitations of the methods
The main sampling protocol that we used was transected method. Even though it gave us desirable and considerable reflective result, it has its limitations. One of such limitation is that there is a greater possibility of errors occurring. It is just a sampling technique and the results may at times not be a true reflection because not the whole region is considered but just the section within the quadrat. In as much as there were the one hundred points within then transect and six quadrats, there were still some areas in the chosen region that were left out uncovered by either the quadrat or the transect, and hence such plants could not be counted.
R-studio as an analysis tool worked perfectly well, and there were not many problems with it. Although it seems to have one major problem and that is the result. The result produced by R-studio required a high level of interpretation, and thus the result of our work could be a problem for a non-statistician Tom understand, and this is a challenge.
In future research, it is important that better choice of research sampling technique be chosen for example measuring a given location after putting all factors into consideration actual physical counting of the plant species may give a more clear result even though in may be time-consuming and tedious. Consequently, in future, the school should obtain a higher level statistical tool like SPSS which produces results which are easy to interpret.
- Crain, Caitlin Mullan, Brian R. Silliman, Sarah L. Bertness, and Mark D. Bertness. “Physical and bioticdrivers of plant distribution across estuarine salinity gradients.” Ecology 85, no. 9 (2004): 2539-2549.
- Fariña, JoséM, Brian R. Silliman, and Mark D. Bertness. “Can conservation biologists rely on established community structure rules to manage novel systems? Not in salt marshes.” Ecological Applications 19.2 (2009): 413-422.
- Pennings, Steven C., and Ragan M. Callaway. “Salt marsh plant zonation: the relative importance of competition and physical factors.” Ecology 73.2 (1992): 681-690.