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Central Middle School

Page history last edited by Alyssa Henley 14 years, 4 months ago



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How do the different types of rock (igneous, sedimentary, metamorphic)  affect the vegetation around them?

  • Notice availability of space. How occupied is the soil?
  • Notice vegetation. What types of plants are occupying this space at what percentage?
  • Analyze other factors that may affect plant growth. Availability of water, pH of soil, climate, weathering of rock in comparison to the type of rock.



Click this link to learn about the background research we conducted and learned.



Click this link to see the different sites we compared as we collected data in the field.



Alyssa: Different rock types will have different vegetation due to how quickly they break down, they will not necessarily be selective to metamorphic/igneous/sedimentary rock.  I developed this hypothesis at the Doris campsite when researching the difference between the gabbro and granite rocks.


Becky: At first I thought that certain rocks would determine what plants would grow because of the soil content, but now I feel that certain plants grow in rocky areas because of their adaptation to the soil acidity and ability to sustain themselves with little water. Because of the breakdown of weathered material, soils are formed, and grassland flowers are able to thrive in rocky areas. Having the ability to grow in rocky areas just adds to the beauty of the area.


Alice:  Different types of plants will grow in different types of soil.  Sedimentary rock in SE OK will support larger plants than the igneous rock that prevails in SW OK.  Sedimentary rock breaks down faster and thicker, richer soil forms.  The weather and precipitation will also affect plant growth.  Granite of SW OK breaks down more slowly and plant life will have to grow in a less supportive  environment. 




  1. Identify geological sites and the main type of rock at the site.
  2. Determine percentage count for type of plant and plant growth in a 3m x 3m area.
  3. Run this count at 3 times per site.
  4. Record data.
  5. Compare % of plant growth against type of rock (metamorphic, igneous, sedimentary)
  6. Compare % of type of plant growth against type of rock.
  7. Determine outside variables that may affect results other than rock type.
  8. Analyze data and Develop conclusions.



Click this site to see % counts, graphs, and data we collected.



  • We did notice differences in vegetation between the different rock types; however, It is hard to determine if the type of rock in an area is directly responsible for the vegetation surrounding it due to a high number of variables including climate, soil and water availability, and pH of soil.  From this we learned that we should have narrowed our question a bit further to eliminate some of the other variables.
  • Analyzing the data we collected was difficult due mainly to the outside variables of differing climate and water conditions. We could not remove these variables and look at our chosen topic of vegetation due to the type of rock in isolation; therefore, we must look at what we know about climate and water's affect on vegetation before we make our conclusions. It is more common in the SW Oklahoma region to have dry and drought weather. This region is covered in low lying vegetation and prairie grass as these plants have the adaptations necessary to survive under these conditions. The SE Oklahoma region receives more rainfall annually and is a combination of prairie and forrest due to water availability alone.



  • The biggest factor in determinine types of vegetation surrounding rock seem to be the composition of rock and its liklihood to weather quickly. Rocks that weather quickly, such as the gabbro granite igneous rock and travertine sedimentary rock are able to support tree life and thick vegetation. Evidence of this fact are seen in many examples of gabbro rock. Much of the gabbro rock has small areas (within/on the rock) where wind or water had loosened and created areas of rock fragments and soil. This occurance was common and we regularly found vegetation such as treelings, vines, and prickly pear establishing their roots in these areas in the gabbro rock. The breakdown of the rock was supporting life. As we looked around, it was no wonder that almost every inch of soil around the gabbro rock was thick with vegetation and hardly any areas were barren without life.


  • Rocks that do not weather as quickly, such as the Mt. Scott granite, produce mostly prairie grasses and wild flowers among scattered lower level trees. We did notice vegetation growing off several granite rocks as well, but upon further investigation the plants were not supported by the breakdown of rock; rather, by an interdependent system of life which would often include moss. Moss does not need soil to survive, but provide an area where soil can be trapped underneath its vegetation and other plants may establish root systems within the moss itself such as rock sedum and prickly pear cactus. This occurance was less than that we found in the gabbro rock and as we analyzed the surrounding soil, there were many barren areas and less established plants.


  • The sedimentary rock of SE Oklahoma including travertine and sandstone also break down easily. This soil availability plays an intregal role in the established and flourishing plants that we found in those areas.





Comments (5)

Central Middle School said

at 4:47 pm on Jun 3, 2009

Alice, It is not allowing me to add pages at the moment. I am not sure if it is because another user is logged in or if it is just not working. I will add that page as soon as it lets me!

Central Middle School said

at 9:42 pm on Jun 3, 2009

Okay, no problem. We can get it taken care of tomorrow. Thanks so much.

Central Middle School said

at 10:48 am on Jun 16, 2009

Becky and I looked at the slideshow together and we both agree the flower is stonecrop, (what my mom always called rock sedum). See you with April at Central on Thursday. What time?? Alice and Becky

Alyssa Henley said

at 2:19 pm on Jun 17, 2009

The pictures look awesome by the way. I may start adding in feature pics for your blog if that is okay with you. And i need to find a pic of you and becky for the meet the scientist pages.

Alyssa Henley said

at 11:21 am on Jun 22, 2009

Becky, good job! You are adding stuff all over the place! We just need to get you to add a picture and I think you've got it!

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