The Ecological Pattern Of Zonation Within The Pauatahanui Inlet Estuary At Motukaraka Point

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Biology Internal Assessment 2.6 Edward Sargent Introduction My investigation was to analyse the ecological pattern of zonation within the Pauatahanui Inlet estuary at Motukaraka Point. Our focus was to compare the distribution of invertebrate species from the low tide point to the high tide points of the estuary. This estuary is formed by fresh water from streams meeting saltwater from the Tasman Sea. We found the pattern of zonation by randomly placing three 0.3m x 03.m quadrats at 5 metre intervals along an interrupted belt transect line that was placed at a right-angle to the estuary mouth (Low Tide Point). We recorded the number of invertebrate organisms on the surface of the mud within the quadrat and then dug down 5cm below the surface to observe the organisms located there. The main abiotic factor that affects these organisms is aerial exposure (tidal movement), we also measured the abiotic factors that affect these organisms, and these included salinity percentage, pH levels, temperatures of the air & substrate and the light levels. The invertebrates we will be investigating are the Tunnelling Mud Crab (Helice Crassa) and the Cockle (Austrovenus Stuchburyi). Due to the mud crabs natural instinct to hide in their burrows when approached, one mud crab burrow was counted as a single mud crab. Also this particular estuary had consistent cover of single cockle shells from the deceased invertebrates, to ensure we

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