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Bellis Perennis in Different Areas of Light Intensity

Lauren Saxby
Compare the concentration of Bellis Perennis in different areas of light intensity
Aim:
The aim of this study was to compare the concentration of Bellis Perennis (More commonly known as the English daisy) in different areas of light intensity.
Plan: Hypothesis:
The concentration of Bellis Perennis will be greater when there is a greater light intensity.
Null hypothesis:
The growth pattern of the Bellis Perennis will not be affected by the light intensity it receives.
Variables:
The area in which growth is taking place
pH of soil
Temperature of habitat
Amount of nutrients available to aid with growth
Time of day measurements taken
Type of soil growth is taking place in
To have as much control over these variables as possible and make the results of the investigation as accurate as they can be, I will select a large area with the soil being as similar as possible but there being different exposures of light intensity in different areas.
The investigation will have to take place at a certain time of day as the light exposure in all areas will change throughout the day with the sun rising and setting, the measurements will need to be taken at the same time of day to be completely fair and accurate in the measurements taken. However measurements could be taken throughout the day and then an average could be taken to determine the average light intensity in each area, this technique will be a more accurate way to come to the most accurate conclusion relative to the hypothesis.
The pH of the soil in each area can also be measured and taken note of as this is a variable that cannot be controlled but could still have an effect on the growth of the Bellis Perennis.
Other uncontrollable variables include the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide available to be used by the plants; these too should be taken note of as these factors can directly affect the growth.
Note will also need to be taken of other plants growing in the area as these are potential competition for water and nutrients etc. thus affecting their growth.
In this experiment I will only include the flowers that have fully bloomed in my measurements to make the results as fair as possible. This is because flowers that have not bloomed may not be easy to identify and instead of causing discrepancies in the results it would be better to discount them
Apparatus:
2x metre tape measures
2x metre rulers
Pencil
Paper
Calculator
Light metre
Grid square
Method: Using random sampling method I will select ten areas within the chosen location where there are growths of Bellis Perennis. I will then in the first area measure out a ten by ten metre square. In each area I will identify the centre of the square and measure the light intensity within that area and the number of Bellis Perennis growing there. This method will be repeated in each of the ten areas.
Risk assessment:
Care will need to be taken so as not to destroy any other organisms growing or living in the area chosen. When carrying out the investigation it is also necessary to avoid disturbing or damaging the habitats of different animals within the area as this could damage the local ecosystem. There should also be an awareness of animals living in the area that could be a potential danger so caution should be executed. When it was conducted if any habitats were identifiable I made sure to remove myself from that area to limit the chances of harm occurring.
Hazard
Risk
Precautions
Weather extremes
Risk of hypothermia with extreme cold weather such as rain and snow, risk of sun stroke and dehydration on extremely hot and sunny day.
Precautions taken involve checking the weather forecast frequently in area of proposed study and monitoring it for changes. At the risk of extreme cold correct clothing should be taken such as coats, hats, gloves etc. so as to limit the risk as much as possible. In preparation for hot weather a substantial amount of water should be taken on the trip to prevent dehydration and the correct sun creams and clothing to cover the skin (Hat) should be taken.
Grass slippery when wet
Risk of falling over and experiencing serious injury when carrying out study on grass.
Shoes with the correct grip should be worn so as to limit the risk of injury and extra care should be taken when walking on the grass surface.
Dust
There are dusty paths and roadways throughout the peak district which could cause breathing issues and perhaps get into eyes etc.
To protect against dust protective eye wear should be worn to limit the risk of dust getting into the eyes and if the dust does get into the eyes care should be taken not to rub them as this increases the chance of infection and medical assistance should be sought. Any asthmatics or other people at risk if they inhale dust should take the correct medications with them, a sufficient supply of water and seek medical assistance if necessary.
Waste disposal
Risks from waste people have disposed in the area with it decomposing and the chemicals it may release; it may also be on the paths and area of study.
Avoid any areas where it apparent there is waste and take care when carrying out the rest of the study.
Working alone
Harm could come from animals, other people or other accidents and when working alone no help may be immediately available.
Try to take at least one other person with you and if unable to do so have the phone numbers of people to contact in emergencies, make sure people know where you are and stay vigilant.
Farming
Risk of trespassing on land that has been used for farming.
Research the land you are planning to use to ensure it is not being used already.
Introduction: Hypothesis:
The concentration of Bellis Perennis will be greater when there is a greater light intensity.
Null hypothesis:
The growth pattern of the Bellis Perennis will not be affected by the light intensity it receives.
Rationale:
Bellis Perennis belong to the kingdom of Plantae which characteristically gets their energy for growth from sunlight so it would be logical to assume that the frequency of Bellis Perennis growing in that area would increase the higher the sunlight exposure. The plant also belongs to the phylum of Angiosperms which are flowering plants which in particular need light energy to bloom so we can also assume that as this is the case the plants will need sunlight to flower and the more sunlight in the area the more plants that will do so. As they also belong to the family Asteraceae these commonly grow in clusters and the flowers have disc shaped heads that follow the direction of the sunlight meaning they can get as much sunlight as possible for growth and other important processes. As the Bellis Perennis can follow the sunlight the light intensity the flower is receiving will not change so dramatically throughout the day and during the investigation the direction the plants are facing can also be noted throughout the day to see if in fact the plants have moved to face the sunlight.
The hypothesis states growth is dependent on light intensity so the study will have to take place in an unkempt area so as to limit the effects of variables for example if this study took place in a garden where the grass was mowed and the people often walked over It many of the Bellis Perennis would be destroyed so the measurements taken would be inaccurate. However in regards to other possible variables it has been proven previously that plants belonging to this family can adapt easily so the effects of pH, temperature and the amount of nutrients available may be limited.
Method:
The investigation took place in the Peak District in Derbyshire which with an area of 555 square miles of land with much of this being open to the public I was able to find an area mostly unaffected by the human population and that seemed relatively unpopular to tourists.
Once I had found the area I surveyed it to find at least ten locations where there appeared to be growths of Bellis Perennis, many of these areas were exposed to significantly different light intensities; for example some areas were shaded by hedges growing within the vicinity whereas in the middle of the area there were plants completely exposed to sunlight.
In the first area a point was noted and marked out and then using the metre long tape measure 10 metres was measured parallel to the marker, another ten metres was measured so it would form a right angle with the first line measured thus creating a square leaving the area to study at 100 meters.
Using a light meter the light intensity in the middle of the area is measured and is noted down in a table marked out on a piece of paper brought for the investigation; Within the table the area is numbered and there is space for the light intensity to be recorded. To calculate the number of Bellis Perennis growing in the particular are a grid square was used so as to get an accurate figure as without this it may be easy to miscount. Also when obtaining this figure a key was used showing what the Bellis Perennis looked like so the correct plants were being counted.
The same method was then followed in each of the chosen areas to provide ten sets of data for analysis.
Pilot Study:
For this method a pilot study needs to be performed to find ways in which the study can be improved. For this study the original method was performed on a smaller scale in an area of local land which would be similar to what I would use in the Peak District. The aim of my study is to compare the growth of Bellis Perennis due to different light intensities and with this pilot study I will select five areas within the chosen location and measure out ten metre squared areas and tally the number of Bellis Perennis in the area and the light intensity in the centre of the area.
My results were as follows:
Number of samples taken
Total number of Bellis Perennis growing in the area
Light intensity
(lux)
1
16
5770
2
29
7770
3
21
6000
4
46
13800
5
37
9100
My results show that the method of carrying out the research is an effective method of getting the results with a good control over extraneous variables that present themselves, however care needs to be taken to ensure the areas are measured out correctly and occasionally the Bellis Perennis are difficult to recognise and distinguish from other very similar plants so a picture for reference would be useful when carrying out the actual study. Note should also be taken of other plants growing within that area as it became apparent that this may be a contributing factor to the number of Bellis Perennis growing in that area as areas with low numbers tended to have a higher number of other plants growing in the immediate vicinity. I have also decided that in my actual study I will need to take multiple light intensity reading to get an accurate figure as it often changed between measurements.
Analysing evidence: Number of samples taken
Total number of Bellis Perennis growing in the area
1
30
2
14
3
51
4
26
5
48
6
29
7
37
8
18
9
21
10
46
Number of samples taken
Light intensity Measurement 1 (lux)
Light intensity
Measurement 2 (lux)
Light intensity
Measurement 3 (lux)
arithmetical mean
1
8600
8300
8600
8500
2
8000
5600
5500
6366
3
15300
15700
15200
15400
4
7400
7350
7900
7550
5
13400
13900
13600
13633
6
7650
7800
7770
7740
7
9200
9000
9250
9150
8
5780
5770
5780
5776
9
6010
5900
5990
5966
10
12000
12300
11800
12033
Explanation of graph:
The graph significantly supports my original hypothesis with the figures showing that a higher light intensity is linked to a higher number of Bellis Perennis growing within that area. The repeat reading allowed me to identify any anomalies in my results and only one figure is clearly inaccurate with a result of 8000 lux when the other two repeat reading for this area showed results of around 5000, this anomaly could be due to a variety of reasons but one that may be most likely is if the light meter probe was not cleaned in between readings which could affect the accuracy of the reading presented.
Evaluation: Limitations:
Despite doing everything to avoid their affects in my study some of the extraneous variables still had an effect on my study; for example some of the plants showed clear evidence of being eaten by animals that must live in the area which may have affected the accuracy of the results with the number of Bellis Perennis perhaps originally being higher than what I saw. When measuring the light intensity the reading sometimes fluctuated a significant amount due to clouds overhead making it sometimes difficult and time consuming to get an accurate reading from that area.
Modifications:
To increase the reliability of the study and remove any limitations found in my study I did get numerous light readings from each area and then find an average to eliminate any anomalous results caused by cloud cover etc. In regards to animals eating the plants it would be best to cordon off the area intended to be used for the study maybe a month before to prevent animals from getting inside and so the results of the study better reflect the natural growth of Bellis Perennis. The fencing used to cordon off the areas should be (or similar too) chicken wire as this will not disrupt the natural sunlight getting to the area and negatively affect the reliability of the results.
Conclusion: In conclusion the results of the study directly support the hypothesis of the greater the light intensity the higher the number of Bellis Perennis growing in that area.
Bibliography: Hind, N. (no date) Bellis Perennis (daisy) | Plants

Meningitis: Neisseria Meningitides | An Overview

Katie Porsch
Jenna Simpson
Hippocrates once spoke about a very toxic and lethal discovery in his texts. This discovery is now known to our human society as Meningitis. The scientific name for this very life-threatening disease is Neisseria meningitidis. The first known outbreak of Hippocrates assumptions was claimed to be in Geneva in 1805 (Dr Ananya Mandal, 2015). However, there are other sources that claim there was known information about Meningitis as early as 1661 by Thomas Willis, which he described there was an inflammation of the meninges in his current patients (KL, 2010). In the following reading I will be describing and informing you of the details of the Meningitis: Neisseria meningitidis, including, but not limited to, what is Meningitis, where it comes from, who and what it affects, signs and symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and scientific qualities of the bacteria.
Meningitis itself is defined as the meninges becoming inflamed; therefore, the meninges are the membranes surrounding the spinal cord and brain (Foundation, 2010). The following taxonomy order that scientist have discovered is known as the following: Binomial name: Neisseria meningitidis; Domain: Prokaryote; Kingdom: Bacteria; Phylum/Division: Proteobacteria; Class: Betaproteobacteria; Order: Neisseriales; Family: Neisseriaceae; Genus: Neisseria. Neisseria meningitidis, is a gram negative, cocci shaped cell, better understood as the shape of a coffee bean. (CDC, 2012) These cocci shaped cells like to arrange in pairs termed diplococci. With this specific bacteria being a prokaryote, it has no organelles such as a nucleus or other specialized organelles. However, it does have a slimy protective layer called a capsule with fingerlike structures called pili to help with movement and infection of the host. (Bingen, 2007-2012).
Along with the first outbreak in Geneva in 1805, in 1840 there was an outbreak that was reported in Africa. However, in the 20th century outbreaks became more uncommon. Nigeria and Ghana, in 1905 had a major outbreak and many people did not survive. This bacterial infection was officially scientifically diagnosed as Meningitis, by Anton Vaykselbaum and an Austrian bacteriologist in 1887 (Dr Ananya Mandal, 2015). As time has progressed, there has been a plethora of replications of this horrible bacteria and certain strains are found in specific locations throughout the world. The most commonly known strains are A, B, C, N, X, Y, and W135. Strain A is most commonly found in Sub-Sahara Africa; Strain B is found primarily in the United Kingdom some reports in New Zealand; Strain C has been reported in the United Kingdom as well; Strain Y is more common to us here at home in North America. Last but certainly not least, Strain N has many different strains in itself and has caused many epidemics across the world (Bingen, 2007-2012).
Binary fission is how most bacterial cells reproduce, such as, Neisseria meningitidis. To more understand what I mean by Binary fission, please look below to see the five main steps of Binary fission are:
Chromosome attaches to plasma membrane
Chromosome replicates
Cell grows and protein ring forms
Protein ring in middle constricts and the membranes and cell wall come in and pinch together
Fission is complete and two genetically identical daughter cells are created” (Bingen, 2007-2012).
This particular bacterial cell has two genetically identical daughter cells that allows the bacteria to have adequate growth and ability inside the host and helps prevent any abnormalities that may occur (Bingen, 2007-2012). Since this type of bacteria lives inside a specific host, it’s defined as a heterotrophic parasite. Heterotrophic is more understood as when bacteria gets its nutrients from living inside the provided host. There are different levels of how infected the host actually is. This horrifying organism lives off of blood from the circulatory system and or the mucous membrane of the host. Nutrients from these sources are provided to the bacteria depending, like stated previously, how far the bacteria has invaded inside of the host.(Bingen, 2007-2012).
The most susceptible to bacterial meningitis, are young children ranging in ages of newborn to toddlers. Many adults are also at risk if the person contains any of the following or a combination can include: a weakened immune system, abuses alcohol, chronic respiratory infections, pneumonia, or a head injury. Because the meninges become inflamed, if a person has had brain or spinal surgery, that person is at a higher risk of this particular bacterial infection reaching the blood stream quicker and more intensely (Foundation, 2010). As stated before, in Sub-Saharan Africa, people are more susceptible to contract Meningitis due to warmer and drier environments. This happens in several countries in relative closeness to each other across the continent of Africa, also termed the Meningitis Belt (Prevention, 2013).
As Neisseria meningitidis needs a host to survive, it can only be transmitted through respiratory fluids from actions such as: sneezing or coughing, kissing, and or sharing drinks (McMurtry, 2013). Exposure to an air-conditioning system or a swimming pool are a few ways of how this bacteria cannot be transmitted from human to human because this bacteria needs to stay inside of a host and if there is no host to invade, the bacteria will no longer be able to survive, and in these two examples, it could be a long period of time before another host comes along. (McMurtry, 2013). Adults and adolescents are at risk for colonizing Neisseria meningitidis by 10-20%. As scary as it may seem, this bacteria can survive and be carried by the individual for weeks and even months at a time (The College of Physicians of Philidelphia, 2014).
By the end of the 19th century, symptoms were occurring more and more commonly. The signs were all described to the Russian physician Vladimir Kernig in 1884 and the Polish physician Jozef Brudzinski in 1899. The signs were commonly known at that time as Kernig’s sign and Brudzinski sign in 1882 and 1909 (Dr Ananya Mandal, 2015). Once this bacteria infects an individual that is between the ages two or older, that individual may show or start to contain the following symptoms: fever, headaches, stiff neck, nausea or vomiting, confusion, seizures, and many more onsets to these particular symptoms. In newborns the symptoms may occur differently such as: fever, constant crying, excessive sleepiness or irritability, poor feeding, sluggishness, bulge in the soft spot: fontanel, and stiffness in the body and neck (Staff, 2013). After developing symptoms and talking to your health care provider, one major and excruciating procedure to detect if a particular individual is infected with Neisseria meningitidis, is by having a professional perform a spinal tap. A spinal tap is more clearing defined as extracting Cerebrospinal Fluid, or commonly known as CSF, from an individual’s spine (Bingen, 2007-2012). Cloudiness will appear in the CSF if the bacteria is present. In this case, the cloudiness is present due to the increase of pressure given off by the bacteria. Another treatment option that doctors may choose to perform could include draining the infected sinuses or mastoids, which are the bones on the skull that are located behind the outer ear and that connect inside to the middle ear (Staff, 2013). Glucose levels will also be reduced and white blood cell count will be elevated if the bacteria Neisseria meningitidis, is present in the CSF. After samples have been collected, laboratory staff will begin a process that they have to specifically follow to grow the CSF bacteria collected on a chocolate agar. The chocolate color is due to the 5-10% mammalian blood that is used as nutrients (Bingen, 2007-2012). Initially, if an individual is experiencing symptoms, if not treated within 12-24 hours, many autopsy reports have stated that death was caused by Neisseria meningitidis (McMurtry, 2013).
Once an individual is diagnosed with Neisseria meningitidis, a doctor will generally push an antibiotic with a corticosteroid to help bring down the inflammation of the meninges. (Foundation, 2010). Antibiotic therapy began in the 20th century with the use of sulfonamides by Francois Schwentker (1904-1954) and penicillin by Chester Keefer (1897-1972). Evidence increased showing that treatment with steroids have improved the prognosis of bacterial meningitis since the year 2002 (Dr Ananya Mandal, 2015). Starting in 2000, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) have required universities and colleges to have their students vaccinated to help prevent meningitis from occurring in the first place and from being able to spread and lead to another epidemic (Dr Ananya Mandal, 2015). Between 2005 and 2010, the FDA have provided vaccines that help protect 4 of the 5 major disease-causing serogroups of meningitis such as: A, C, Y, and W-135. Children at the ages of eleven and twelve are recommended for routine vaccinations for their pre-teen years against meningococcal (Dr Ananya Mandal, 2015). Even though an individual has previously had the meningococcal vaccine, they recommend that individual get a booster shot every five years. The approximate or estimated time frame before a person can begin at the earliest of seven days and could take up to ten days to develop the protection that is needed to fight against is brutal disease (Prevention, 2013). There are a few other ways that people in society can help to prevent the spread of Meningitis. This short list is a few of precautions but are not limited to: washing your hands thoroughly, practicing good hygiene, staying healthy as an individual, covering your mouth when you happen to sneeze or cough, and if you are pregnant, cook your food properly and a little longer than suggested to prevent undercooked meat.
As you have read, this is a very scary, life-threatening disease that is probably a force not to be reckoned with. It is very serious. I hope that from the information that I have given you, that if you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of any kind that I described, you should not take it lightly. Go check it out and consult a physician. As I have previously noted, this disease is called Meningitis, scientifically known as Neisseria meningitides. Simply put, it is inflammation of the meninges of the brain. Well, we should all know as a part of the human race, anything to do with the brain is quite serious and is no laughing matter. Yes, there are vaccines against this disease, however, it is just like any other disease, it can keep replicating and could lead to a possible epidemic if we as humans do not take the proper cautions to protect ourselves and others against it by performing routine and common practices such as hand washing. This bacteria has been around for many, many centuries and I do not think it is going anywhere anytime soon. So please, take care of yourself and others by simply, taking care of yourself.
References Bingen, S. (2007-2012). Neisseria meningitides. Retrieved from University of Wisconsin-La Crosse: http://bioweb.uwlax.edu/bio203/s2008/bingen_sama/index.htm
CDC. (2012, March 15). Chapter 7: Identification and Characterization of Neisseria meningitidis. Retrieved from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/meningitis/lab-manual/chpt07-id-characterization-nm.html
Dr Ananya Mandal, M. (2015, March 24). History of Meningitis. Retrieved from News Medical: http://www.news-medical.net/health/History-of-Meninigitis.aspx
Foundation, T. C. (2010, May 4). Diseases

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