This investigation is objective to look at the effect of light intensity on the abundance of white clover (Trifolium repens), using variations in cover provided by the canopy and exterior to the canopy to determine this. …
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The intention of this study is white clover (Trifolium repens) - a perennial, low growing plant with trifoliate leafs consisting of three oval shaped leaflets, normally found in grasslands. It is very common, and is prevalent in lawns and pasture. It is often considered a weed, and as such there are many commercially available options for controlling it, such as the use of weed killers. However, one problem with controlling the growth of clover in this way is that it also has effects on any other plants that are growing in the same area, which may be undesirable. The role of white clover is not always a negative one. It is an important species in much of the world as a consequence of its ability to grow alongside grass, producing pastures in which both species are present. It has the ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen, which enhances the growth of the grass species. White clover is often used to suppress the growth of weeds while allowing the growth of desired crops such as mustard. As a consequence, the factors which control the growth of clover are important to understand, whether the desire is to enhance or repress the growth of the species. One important factor in the growth of any species is the availability of light. Plants produce nutrients for growth and reproduction through the process of photosynthesis. This process occurs within chloroplasts which are present in plant cells, but not in animal cells. . The amount of sunlight required for the maximum level of growth and reproduction differs between species of plants. This can be illustrated by the concept of ecological succession. Here, a community progresses from one form into one that is different in both structure and composition over a significant period of time. Succession occurs either through creating a community in a new unoccupied habitat, or following a disturbance. In both cases the first step is the recruitment of plants that thrive under high light conditions. These are often called the pioneer species, and are often grass-like species. Pioneer species are generally intolerant of shade and are eventually outcompeted by species that are more shade-tolerant, i.e. require less light in order to grow . As a consequence the presence of clover inhibits the growth of some species which require high levels of light, and facilitates the growth of haters that are tolerant of shade. It is likely that the same applies of clover itself. White clover has been shown to respond differently to the quality of light that it was grown under in the laboratory , so it is likely the amount of light would have some effect on white clover growth in the natural environment. The aim of this study was to use a naturally varying range of light to determine whether the amount of light available had any effect on the abundance of white clover. Plan Hypothesis: There will be a significantly positive relationship between available light and the abundance of white clover. This is because of the increased amount of light that is available to the clover as it emerges from the tree canopy allows for increased growth and hence increased abundance, while under the canopy the lack of light decreases
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“The Effect of Light Intensity on the Abundance of White Clover Coursework”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/biology/1391800-to-what-extent-does-the-presence-of-a-canopy-tree.
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