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The Biodiversity of Warai Woods, Warai River and Dixel Lake

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Discussion: Biodiversity is the number of different varieties of species living in one ecosystem. Hence if there are many kinds of different species living in an ecosystem, the biodiversity is higher. Higher biodiversity increases the survival rate of the species. This is because, if one particular species is contaminated, extinguished or diseased; there is still a chance for the predators to feed on other species and not be dependant on one type of species for their survival. For example: Mosquitoes were the only insects available for lizards to feed on, and due to human influence in that area, all the mosquitoes died and the lizards were unable to catch prey and hence would fight for their existence. But if there was a higher biodiversity in that area, even though mosquitoes were isolated from that area, lizards would still have a chance to feed on flies and other insects and hence they would survive thus keeping the ecosystem in a more stable condition. Hence the stability of the ecosystem and the survival of its species depends on the biodiversity of the species.

You could use the Simpson’s diversity index to calculate the biodiversity of an ecosystem, where greater the index, the greater the biodiversity. The biodiversity in the lake and river would be quite low due to human interference. The lake is a tourist attraction hence the cultivation of gaudy plants and shrubs would come in the way of naturally occurring plants thus reducing the biodiversity. Also, the pollution caused by the building of infrastructure in and around the ecosystem would be another factor that decreases the biodiversity in the lake and river. The Warai woods would have a reasonably high biodiversity because it is a dense forest thus allowing for animals to live and plants to grow peacefully without much human interference. There would be no variables in this practical since no factors are being investigated.

Fauna found in all three ecosystems:

Jatropha (shameless), Argemone, Polygonum, Spirogyra, Carissa, Lichen, Leucena (Subabul), Erythrina, Teak, Pink Flower, Acacia. (The pictures of these flowers are at the back of the report.)

Fauna found in all three ecosystems:

Woods: house crow:Corvus splendens, jungle crow: Corvus macrorhynchos, sheep, cows

Warai woods: with the help of a thermometer we measured the temperature in the night and the day and the average temperature was about 32? in the day and 16? in the night making the temperature very suitable for the growth of plants and tress. I observed that the forest was deciduous and there were large number of dried leaves fallen on the surface of the ground. This is because the climatic conditions are such that the rainfall is very seasonal and hence the trees shed their leaves from time to time. We took note of the fact that teak was present in large amounts and its leaves had a large surface area.

This is because of the high humidity in the area, and due to this, plants do not transpire too much and large surfaced leaves help them increase their transpiration rate. The growths of flowering shrubs (Carissa, Erythrina, Pink Flower) were very abundant and were due to the good texture in the soil. The large number of dried leaves fallen on the surface made it difficult for the sunlight to reach the soil, thus preventing the water from evaporating and hence the soil was moist and suitable for the growth of plants. The presence of plants with big leaves help keep the temperature down and restricted the amount of sunlight reaching the surface hence the rate of evaporation decreased thus sustaining the amount of water in the plants. Argemone, a shrub with pointed leaves and short stems, was found on the riverbank, lake side and forest thus showing that it can adjust to any climatic condition and can grow almost anywhere. Leucena (research).

The birds found in warai were Corvus splendens (house crow) and Corvus macrorhynchos (jungle crow) though they were not too deep in the forest and were seen in the presence of humans showing us that they were not affected by noise and could adapt quite easily. We were told that Myna’s and Sky Lark’s were also inhabitants of the Warai forest but we were unable to spot those birds proving that they lived in the centre of the forest where there was scanty influence of the humans and that they were quite rare. We also spotted some sheep and cows.

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