Blog Post 3: Ongoing Field Observations

The organism that I plan to study is the fern. I wonder what conditions ferns thrive, whether they grow better in sunny areas, semi-shaded areas, or shaded areas. The idea would be to look at the length of fern leaves and compare them across the different gradients.

I live on one side of a ridge and on my side where my house is, there is a large sunny yard, at the top it is semi-shaded, and on the other side it is completely shaded by old growth trees. The three locations along the gradient are the one area in my yard, which is near the top of the hill, and then following along the transect moving to a semi-shaded area at the top of the hill, and then moving along the transect down the other side of the ridge which is heavily treed. In the sunny area and in the shaded area there appear to be a lot of ferns, which are densely packed. Similarly, in the woods where there is no sunlight, there are similarly a lot of ferns. In the semi-sunlit areas there are also ferns, but not as densely packed. Having attempted to remove ferns from the yard, I observe that they are relatively tough. 

I hypothesize that the amount of sunlight positively impacts the growth of the ferns. I predict that the ferns will grow bigger in the sunlight areas because they thrive off more light. 

One potential response variable is the length of fern leaves and the explanatory variable is the amount of sunlight. The response variable is continuous and the explanatory variable is categorical meaning that it would be an ANOVA design. 

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