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Field Practical: Posing Questions in Ecology
1.) Observation: Ferns tend to grow more abundantly alongside the stream or where water is present than any other environments.
Question: Does being close to water helps fern to reproduce more successfully? What does water provide to ferns that make them growth abundantly alongside it?
2.) Observation: Birds tend to inhabit in tropical biomes more often and sing (to attract mate) than drought biomes.
Question: Does being in tropical biomes help birds to attract mates?
3.) Observation: Finches rests at small branches of bushes more like of trees
Question: Does siting in small branches, provide resistance to finches so they won’t fall over?
4.) Observation: Ants prefer to make inhabitant inside the eucalyptus tree a lot more than underground.
Question: Does environment inside the tree provide more successful conditions for ants in order to survive? (e.g genetic drifts associated with underground).
5.) Observation: Spiders use small bushes as a factor in order to produce web to catch the flies.
Question: Does small bushes help to keep up the spider web or do spiders feel more agile in terms of motion in those plants?
6.) Observation: Plants in drought area tend to have a pointy shape leaves unlike tropical forests or other jungle biomes which are broad
Question: Does have a pointy shape in area like drought which lacks water help them to store water for longer time?
7.) Observation: Some plants like Teucrum Rasemosum only inhabit in dry areas.
Question: Does the conditions in dry favour the growth of that specific plant? (e.g temperature, moisture)
8.) Observation: Plants in dry areas tend to have lighter green colour in compare to plants from other tropical or rainforest jungles where plants are dark green (different morphology).
Question: Does low colour related to the water storage inside the vacuole? Does the lighter the colour of the plant in dry area means that they can store water for longer period of time?
9.) Observation: Relatively large underground hole was observed in Cryptoqum which could be assumed to be for a rabbit.
Question: does conditions for that environment favours underground species?
10.) Observation: Finches more move around small bushes and inhabit there.
Question: Does living near small bushes make them easier to access food resources? Or communicate better?
I predict that water content and growth of the fern have mutual relationship, such that as water content increase, ferns would have better reproductive output thus more abundant.
Went to garden and observed that Dicksonia sellowiana growths abundantly in “group” along the creek observed with relatively medium water content Figure 1. It is hypothesised that water content helps to increase the reproductive output of ferns which would increase the abundance mutuality. This experiment aims to show the mutual relationship that is present between these two elements. According to the study from Schwerbrock and Leuschner (2016) which proved that humidity is the main key determinant for morphology and reproductive output of woodland fern (not the same one) thus, in this experiment the humidity isn’t the main concern (control variable) since we already knew its effect is more crucial than soil moisture. We trying to observe the difference between abundance of ferns that grow in high water than low water content.
We divide the samples into two groups, with different treatments. Then after collecting seeds of the specific fern, the experiment will be carried out in two distinct environments but with the same condition (e.g same humidity). One seed would be introduced into an environment with a relatively large broad creek (water source) and other one with relative low amount of water source (small lake). After introducing two seed samples into environments, now just wait until couple of weeks to observe the reproductive output. It is really crucial to limit any confounding variables such as the amount of sunlight that the seeds are exposed to, or temperature and humidity and unit area as well. important one that we’re measuring in same unit area for both which is crucial for further density calculations. After couple of weeks when the changes are viable, the data can be calculated through equation as follows=
Thus, after obtaining values, it is now time to compare and to whether reject/accept the hypothesis. If the density of high amount of water was larger, then the hypothesis is accepted and vice versa. According to the study from Schwerbrock and Leuschner, kind of similar experiment has done but in that the hypothesis was whether there are other limit factors for grow of fern seedlings which humidity was the most crucial one. But for this experiment main point was to prove whether water content is crucial for reproductive output of ferns.
Pollutant in water is increasing worldwide and obviously no living species would interact with that. Having in mind that ferns may not have sufficient advantages for human economics, but they sure can play the important role in ecological interactions (e.g, nitrogen cycle). Thus, by definition of conservation, humans must protect the environment and especially water content to allow these species to have ongoing functions on nature. According to report from Patricia B (2015) with similar experiment they asserted that “Habitat loss, particularly the establishment of desiccated forest results the habitat loss and fragmentation, particularly the establishment of desiccated forest edges, result in the extirpation of particular ecological groups with a few species/ecological groups experiencing proliferation, such as light-demanding species”. Thus, inverse statement may be valid as well, some plants may require less sunlight and more shade in order to survive and thus by deforestation and exposing the species to sun more often and removing the block of shade by trees it can cause the extirpation of the species.
1)-Schwerbrock, R., Leuschner, C. (2016), "Air humidity as key determinant of morphogenesis and productivity of the rare temperate woodland fern Polystichum braunii", Plant Biology, [viewed 19 May 2016]
2)-Patrícia B. Lima, Liliane F. Lima, Bráulio A. Santos, Marcelo Tabarelli , , Carmen S. Zickel,' Altered herb assemblages in fragments of the Brazilian Atlantic forest, Biological Conservation,Vol. 191, pp 588-595, [viewed 19 May 2016]