Behaviour of Wood Lice Experiment

Behaviour of Wood Lice Experiment

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Behaviour of Wood Lice Experiment
In the experiment I was offered the choice to investigate the
behaviour of woodlice in a wet or dry environment or a light or dark
environment. I chose to investigate the behaviour of woodlice in a wet
or dry environment.

Woodlice belong to the biological class crustacea. Most of the animals
in this class are aquatic, and though the terrestrial species can
breathe with the aid of primitive ‘lungs’ they lack the features found
in most other land-dwelling arthropods. They have no waterproof waxy
cuticle on their exo-skeleton and are therefore more likely to suffer
from dessication compared with other arthropods such as insects which
have a well developed waxy layer. These animals excrete their
nitrogenous waste as ammonia gas directly thorough their exo-skeleton
(rather than as urea or uric acid).This means that their exo-skeleton
needs to be permeable to ammonia and is therefore also permeable to
water vapour.

In my experiment I am testing whether the woodlice prefer the
environment to be wet or dry. I predict that they will prefer it wet
rather than dry. I think this because when you find them in the wild,
they are in dark damp places like under big rocks or a log.

Method

First of all in my experiment I will set up a ‘choice chamber’ with
wet cotton wool under one side and keeping it dry on the other.

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Related Searches

I will
putt a bit of netting over the top so the woodlice can walk over it.
We chose to use 15 woodlice because the more you use it makes it less
likely for the results to be due to chance. There is a problem with
the woodlice clumping up with each other (this is one of the things
they naturally do when the get close to something or each other). It
may affect the distribution but there isnÂ’t really anything I can do
to solve the problem.

Diagram

[IMAGE]

Text Box: = DryText Box: = Wet

I will take down the results every minute for twenty minutes to put in
a graph. I am doing it for twenty minutes because it will enable me to
do a chi2 (χ 2) at the end of the experiment. The chi2 test is a test
that checks to see if your results are reliable and not just due to
chance. For example you, you could flip five heads in a row on a coin
but if you did it fifty times it would balance out. The chi2 test
helps find occasions like this.

Results

Minutes

Wet

Dry

1

6

6

2

8

7

3

10

5

4

8

7

5

9

6

6

10

5

7

11

4

8

8

7

9

7

8

10

9

6

11

13

2

12

12

3

13

14

1

14

14

1

15

15

0

16

14

1

17

15

0

18

12

3

19

15

0

20

15

0

The results show that the wood lice preferred the wet environment to
the dry, This may be easier to see in a graph.

Graph

[IMAGE]

The results do say that that the woodlice prefer it in a wet
environment

but this could be due to chance. To make sure its not due to chance I
shall do the chi² test.

Text Box: X² = Σ (O – E) ²

E



Observed

Expected

X²

9

7.5

0.3

8

7.5

0.033333333

8

7.5

0.033333333

9

7.5

0.3

10

7.5

0.833333333

11

7.5

1.633333333

8

7.5

0.033333333

7

7.5

0.033333333

9

7.5

0.3

13

7.5

4.033333333

12

7.5

2.7

14

7.5

5.633333333

14

7.5

5.633333333

15

7.5

7.5

14

7.5

5.633333333

15

7.5

7.5

12

7.5

2.7

15

7.5

7.5

15

7.5

7.5

Total

59.83333333

According to the X² distribution for 20 woodlice for a one in twenty
chance of the results being due to chance X² should be above 31.41; my
total is well above that. For a one in hundred chance of the results
being due to chance its 37.57. Mine is just under sixty so my results
are almost definatly not due to chance at all. Woodlice prefer their
environment to be wet. They prefer to live in a wet environment
because they are permeable to water vapor they need to be in wet
places to get their water supply. That is why they are found under big
rocks and under logs in the wild; they are both damp places.

Evaluation

Overall; I think the experiment went very well. There werenÂ’t really
any problems at all. I think the way we obtained our results worked
very well. The results we got were very good as well there were no
really strange results compared with the rest of them. I donÂ’t think I
would change the way we got our results because there isnÂ’t really
another way to do it. I think our results were very reliable as the
chi² test proved that they were not due to chance, they are definatly
sufficient to support the conclusion I have made. The only problem we
did have with the test was getting the woodlice in the choice chamber.
In the end we just decided to open the lid throw them in and hope that
none of them would escape; and they didnÂ’t.
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