On Tuesday the 11th of June, twenty-four Year 11 Biology students visited the Lachlan Wetlands in Centennial Parklands.
The purpose of our excursion was to measure abiotic and biotic factors within the wetlands and collect data for an ecosystem depth study. From this we could analyse any trends and develop an inquiry question to investigate further with secondary research.
We worked in groups of four to collect quadrant data along a pre-established path. Some groups collected data about air conditions such as light intensity and humidity, and other groups collected data about soil conditions such as pH and moisture. We also counted bat populations, estimated canopy cover and used an identification chart to observe plant diversity in the under storey.
After lunch, we considered how human activities can affect fruit bat populations such as extreme heat and noise pollution from major events that happen within the Park. The excursion was an eye-opening experience as our education officer told us that 50,000 bats live in Lachlan Wetlands and that they are very affected by the noise from music festivals and temperature fluctuations from climate change.
Many of us also fed ducks bread in parks as children, but we found out that bread can sink to the bottom of ponds and decay, and that bread is also really unhealthy for ducks to eat. We concluded our day by brainstorming practical management strategies in groups to reduce human impacts on this ecosystem, and used clay to model our management plans.