We decided to investigate tree species richness and diversity of a small hill in Thatcher way and on University Drive behind the school parking lot in Southwest. These two places are at least 1.5 miles away from each other meaning the areas are different enough to have different populations. The trees of interest on Thatcher way are on a hill in an isolated area in the Northeast residential area on campus, whereas the trees on University Drive are surrounded by parking lots and involve a larger surface area. The trees on University Drive appear to be more spread out, therefore receive sunlight and rain more directly than the trees on Thatcher way. Temperature is most likely the same in both areas. The trees in Thatcher way are in a steeper area compared to the trees in Southwest. We predicted there would be more species richness and diversity in the Southwest area. Our predictions were based on observations of Southwest receiving more direct water and sunlight. This would make it easier for them to create their own food and energy through photosynthesis. An increased space promotes growth and resistance to stress whereas a tighter space makes the trees more vulnerable to disease, fire, and droughts. If our predictions are correct, the Southwest area will have a higher Shannon Index, meaning a greater variety of species and a somewhat equal distribution. If we are wrong, this means we overlooked other factors that could contribute to a reduced diversity in the Southwest area.
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