Whilst this list provides a source of information and ideas for experimental work, it is important to note that recommendations can date very quickly. Do NOT follow suggestions which conflict with current advice from CLEAPSS, SSERC or recent safety guides. eLibrary users are responsible for ensuring that any activity, including practical work, which they carry out is consistent with current regulations related to Health and Safety and that they carry an appropriate risk assessment. Further information is provided in our Health and Safety guidance.
Links and Resources
A Catalyst article about biologists looking for patterns in the distribution of barnacle species on the sea shore. Barnacles are arthropods which live as tiny larvae in the sea and then cement themselves, head down, on suitable rocks, build a shell, poke their legs out of the top of it and start to filter feed. The article looks at what barnacles can tell us about the ecology of the seashore.
In the article is part of a photograph of a transect along the barnacle zone on a rocky beach in Wales, together with instructions on how to use it (p. 12). The barnacle transect file contains the full version of this image, which is about 3 metres long. Teachers and students can perform a more comprehensive transect on this, using the same method.
Using the context of land remediation, this resource describes a series of investigations to measure the distribution of plants and animals, including a range of sampling techniques and the measurement of abiotic factors such as soil conditions, temperature and light intensity.
The resources are linked with a web site that describes the reclamation of a former coke-manufacturing plant in Chesterfield. Similar activities to those described in this resource would be undertaken at the start of a remediation process such as the one undertaken at the Avenue. This would help to highlight the appropriate actions that may need to be taken to relocate species prior to the site being disturbed
Amy works for the Forestry Commission. Her work includes investigating how habitats connect and allow species to move between them.
The materials include full teacher guidance and student information sheets. These cover:
• careers case study and questions
• surveying habitats to measure biodiversity
• habitat networks and biodiversity
• biodiversity in the UK
This resource is an interactive activity which aims to provide an introduction to the lowland heathland habitat. The five topics relating to lowland heathlands covered by the resources include:
• The biotic components of lowland heathlands, focusing on plants
• The biotic components of lowland heathlands, focusing on animals
• The abiotic characteristics of lowland heathlands
• The status of heathlands in the UK and the threats to the habitat
This field study encourages students to act as environmental scientists to compare two heathlands one of which has been grazed, one of which has not. Students use the data collected to decide which heathland is better in terms of the plant species present, especially heathers, and soil chemistry.
Four activities are suggested:
Activity A: Soil chemistry tests
Activity B: Grazed heathland vegetation survey
Activity C: Non-grazed heathland vegetation survey
Activity D: Comparison of heathland habitats