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Ecosystem Column Lab Questions

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Madison Long

on 26 May 2016

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Transcript of Ecosystem Column Lab Questions

Ecosystem Column Lab Questions
Question #4
Compare your lab group's somewhat "contrieved" or "manufactured" ecostystems with ecosystems found outside the classroom. Describe (i) three similarites and (ii) three differences.
Question #1
Propose three possible reasons why there are such large differences between the Eco-Columns in the lab.
Question #2
Identify one Food Chain or Food Web in each of your habitats (chambers). Use the arrows to illustrate these food chains and food webs.
Question #3
Identify and briefly discuss the biogeochemical cycles which are taking place/which are present in your Eco-Columns.
a. Aquatic Chamber
-Sun Duckweed Fish
b. Decomposition Chamber
- Soil Worm
Pill Bugs
c. Terrestrial Chamber
In our Eco-Column the water and carbon cycle was present. You could tell these cycles occur by the growing of the plants, and the condensation build up on the bottles. The water cycle continued by the process of transpiration from the sunflower's and duckweed's leaves. The plants process of photosynthesis continued the carbon cycle.
Question #5
Is your ecosystem column a closed or open system?-- or is it something in between a closed or open system.
-Soil Worms
Pill Bugs
One reason would be that some Eco-Columns got more sunlight than others.
Another reason would be the amount of water in the aquatic chamber could differ.
Finally the number of species varied making a drastic difference between the Eco-Columns.
• Our ecosystem column is a closed system to the surrounding environment because there is no chance of anything escaping or getting out of our bottle. That is because of the way we had it taped and hot glued around each crack for the different chambers. However, there is an open system inside of the bottle because the small organisms are given straws to the other chambers to allow them to move around freely as they please
• The open system considered inside of the ecosystem column influences the ecosystem column by determining what happens in each chamber because of the fact that some organisms are allowed to move around freely so depending on what chamber they’re in can affect what takes place in that chamber. An example of the closed system influences is the fruit flies moving from the predator-prey chamber to the decomposition chamber because they did not want to get eaten by the spiders. The closed system influences the ecosystem column because no matter what happens even if the organisms die they’re still going to be in the column because there is no getting out, there is of course the possibility of organisms eating other organisms. An example of the closed system influences would be once the organisms die they would decompose in the bottle because they wouldn’t be able to go anywhere else and as they decompose they would put nutrients back into the bottle for other organisms to thrive on.
Question #6
Question #7
Question #8
Question #9
Discuss fine limiting factors in your habitats, clearly stating which chamber(s) you are referring to.
1. Space is a limiting factor in all chambers because if the population starts to grow there will not be enough space for every organism to live, so the population will not grow due to space.
2. The amount of food given in the AC and PPC is a limiting factor because if there is more food than the organisms need, the population will grow. However, since there is only enough food for the organisms in the chamber the population will not grow.
3. The amount of soil and nutrients in the TC is a limiting factor because if there was more than enough soil and nutrients for the worms to take in, the population will grow. However, there is only enough for the worms in the chamber so the population will not grow.
4. Temperature in all chambers is a limiting factor because if the temperature were to get warmer or colder, the organisms in the chambers could increase or decrease. However if the temperature is constant, the population of organisms will stay the same.
5. Water in the AC is a limiting factor because in the AC there is only enough water for the organisms living there. Therefore, if there was more water, the population could grow.

Question #10
Discuss evidence of ecological succession taking place in your column (or in another groups column).
• The evidence of ecological succession is examples of secondary succession.
• The grass growing in the decomposition chamber because the soil was found somewhere else and put into that chamber. The grass that grew could’ve been growing in that soil before it was added to our project.
• The fish eating the other fish in the aquatic chamber because of competition for space and food.
o There were three fish and three snails all eating off of the same plant. So there soon wouldn’t be enough of the plant to go around, therefore some of the fish had to go.

Discuss the stability and sustainability of the ecosystem columns in the lab, including your own.
Stability is the act of being stable in an environment, such as the worms that live in the decomposition chamber. The worms were able to burry themselves under the dirt and live. The worms did not have to worry about any predator and were able to maintain a stable environment. While sustainability is the ability to maintain a good environment, such as the fish that live in the aquatic chamber. The fish in the aquatic chamber had food and room to move around. Usually when an ecosystem is stable it is able to sustain its environment, however not all the columns in the Eco-column lab were able to sustain a stable environment. Once the spiders in the Predator-Prey Chamber ate all of the fruit flies, they did not have any other food, therefore made it impossible for the spiders to survive.
- Certain Biogeochemical Cycles
Water Cycle
Carbon Cycle
- Predator Prey Competition
- Competition resorting to death matches
- No outside influence (closed system)
- No seperation between niches
- All Biogeochemical cycles

Part 2
By: Grace Schaffer, Pierce Folk, Nathan Tuten, Madison Long, Randa Godley, AJ Kearse, Morgan Fields, and Emma Stanley
Discuss three trends or patterns which stand out as you think back on the data which you have been recording.
What kinds of niches are available for the various organisms in the column.
Predator Prey Chamber
Controlled flies
Terrestrial Chamber
Provided energy source for flies
Fed on grass for energy consumption
Decomposition Chamber
Broke down organic matter in decompisition chamber
Aquatic Chamber
Provided source of energy for fish
Fed on duckweed
Controlled algae growth in chamber
The duckweed continued to grow weekly due to good water, sunlight, and carbon dioxide consumption.

Unfortunately our fish slowly died off due to competition of resoursces between them.

Due to the plants growing they realesed more gas which caused condesation to occur.
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