Nguyen TiffanyBiologyMr. Wolverton10/10/2017Mount St. Helens IntroductionOn May 18th 1980 Mount St. Helens erupted. The eruption caused many disturbance zones and destroyed multiple abiotic and biotic factors. The devastating eruption caused multiple plants, animals, micro-organisms, soil, and water to perish or be disrupted. Disturbance zones like blowdown, scorch forest, debris avalanche, and standing dead were where plants were destroyed. Some of the trees winded up in nearby water sources. Most of the disturbance zones closer the volcano were more heavily destroyed. Many of the herbivores, carnivores, and omnivores had also passed away, however though some of them that were able to bury themselves underground, underwater, and/or get away from the disturbance zones were able to survive. Specialists that had preyed on other organisms also died out because the lack of prey in their food chain. Disturbance zones like these were completely void of vegetation, organisms, and lacked soil to be able to grow. These were called primary succession and take longer to grow but will grow eventually. Some of the disturbance zones that were farther away received little damage and the soil was still intact, so the vegetation and organisms that were left were able to start the regrowth process. This is called secondary succession. The regrowth process of Mount St. Helens has brought new life. New life like plants, animals, micro-organisms, soil, and water. Especially trees with canopy cover. According to the “MSH Variable Explanations pdf”, canopy cover is the measurement to determine how much of the ecosystem is closed versus open. The animal community has started to gone up. The plants have started to return and new water sources have started to grow. Water sources like ponds have begun to grow or ponds that previously existed have started to make a comeback. Ecosystems had started to develop and provide more life thanks to keystone species. So how does pond ages affect the canopy cover on Mount St. Helens?We hypothesise that if pond ages increase then the canopy cover will increase. This was hypothesise looking at the data collected from Mount St. Helens over the past 3 years and research. First we have to find out how ponds are made. According to “nhptv.org” new ponds are formed when water starts to fill in a depression in the ground. Then early plants or pioneers will eventually start growing at the lake. New ponds could have formed on Mount St. Helens when the landslides caused hummocks, and which then could have filled up with rainwater. Another way new ponds formed on Mount St. Helens could have been when the lahar or trees that swept dammed up streams of water and caused a pond to form. After the ponds are formed it usually starts an ecosystem. The ecosystem usually consists of animals, plants, and trees. Well since this is a new pond the ecosystem would be undergoing primary succession. Organisms that first appear during primary succession are mosses and lichen. Know as pioneer species they help enrich the soil for the trees to start growing. After the pioneer species die their dead remains adds to the soil and enriches it more until small plants can start growing then trees will grow. However for existing ponds they go under secondary succession which are much faster. Sated by the Science Education Discovery, “When secondary succession occurs, communities are usually reintroduced to the ecosystem more quickly than happens during primary succession”. Not only that but because there was a community there before the soil would be much richer than areas undergoing primary succession. Therefore the trees that undergo secondary succession will grow taller than the trees that undergo primary succession. Like the what the Biology Textbook shows trees undergoing primary succession may take 115 to 200 years to become an actual forest while trees undergoing secondary succession may take 70 years to 100 years to become a forest, “Biology Textbook”. So thus the trees undergoing secondary succession would grow faster and at the same time taller than the trees undergoing primary succession.ProcedureFirst download and open the Aquatic excel sheet for 2017.Next open a new excel sheet and click on a cell to type in your question and hypothesisOnce again open the Aquatic excel sheet for 2017 and click on the “metadata” sheet on the bottom of the pageIt should show the site codes which you should copy and paste onto your newly opened excel sheet. Then going back on the “metadata” if you scroll to the right it shows if the site codes is a newly or existing pond.Copy and paste the site codes and if they are new or existing ponds down on your excel sheet.Then open up the Aquatic excel sheet again and click on the “vegetation” sheet. Next scroll to the side and look for the tab named “canopy cover rank”. This will give you information on the canopy cover rank that will be needed. Then select the information and do “ctrl+c” which will copy the information for youNext go to your new excel sheet and click on one of the cells and then paste the information you copied previously on the excel sheetNow you need to download the Aquatic Sampling Protocol. After download that you need to scroll down until you find the canopy cover class protocolThen you need to look at the information on the canopy cover rank and convert it to the low and high average in percentages based on the canopy cover number rank. Use the equation “=average” then parentheses then select the cells for each low and high average. While converting it to the low and high average in percentages you need to make it so the low average is separated from the high average in different cells. While doing step 16 make sure you are sorting the averages into the right site codesAfter this I compiled this information into sections called “New Low Average”, “New High Average”, “Existing Low Average”, and “Existing High Average”.Next select the four columns and on the top tab select the “insert” tab and click the charts. Choose the one best fit for the data collected.After clicking on it you will need to make sure there is a title, and axis titles checked. Rename the title to something fit with the question and the axis titles to what the data is conveying.When pond ages increase the canopy cover will increase. Was what the hypothesis was in the beginning of this project. The reason was because the new ponds canopy cover would be undergoing primary succession. Which would take longer for the canopy cover to develop unlike secondary succession. Canopy cover undergoing secondary succession would grow faster because the previous nutrients in the soil. However after taking the data collected and putting it into a graph it showed that the hypothesis was refuted. Looking at “dendro.cnre.vt.edu” when trees grow their roots also expand into the soil. This may introduce more nutrients to the tree and influence growth of the tree. The graph showed that it was actually the new ponds had more of a increase in canopy cover growth than that of the ponds already existing. The graph showed that the existing ponds had 0% of canopy cover for low and high average gathered from the field trip. Then looking at the new ponds low and high average the numbers were 25.26% and 33%. When looking at the trendline of the graph we could see that the trendline starts from very low down but as the pond ages decrease/are lower the trendline starts moving up. Looking at these numbers we can conclude that when pond ages increase the canopy cover will decrease. Looking at the aquatic protocol it shows how the data was collected with logical references. The aquatic protocol for collecting canopy cover percentage was to look through a tube of pvc pipe and then starting at ST0 then moving 5 meters away. It was also very specific and shows an accurate representation on how the data was collected. It was also consistent and could be repeated for all the trials. However even though it was repeated the trials could have some errors when collecting the data. Some errors could have been not moving 5 meters away from ST0 moving further or too little. Other errors could have been writing down the data incorrectly. Now compared to the procedure presented here also shows how the data was collected and how it was compiled, averaged, and transferred into a graph. The procedure here also shows a small attribute to consistency and repeated trials. To find the hypothesis answer we had to make sure that the hypothesis was testable which it was. Looking at more problems with validity and reliability there were problems reliability if this procedure could be repeated or if the procedure made sense. The results of this test could possibly lead to another future prediction.