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Campus Ecological Tour

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Anna Groebner

on 29 May 2013

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Transcript of Campus Ecological Tour

Campus Ecological Virtual Tour What is an ecosystem? -A biological community of interacting organisms (biotic) and their physical environment (abiotic).
-Some of the different types of ecosystems are aquatic, mountain, marine, grassland, freshwater, desert, forest and terrestrial. On this campus we have aquatic, grassland, and forest ecosystems. Each Ecosystem works on its own, but they also interact together to integrate carbon, water, and other nutrients as well as energy throughout the area. Nature of Science Great Lakes Mallard Study Genetics and Molecular Biology Mallard's mode of inheritance for the M and Li traits are epistasis, which is when one gene affects the phenotype of another gene, where the Mallard trait affects the Phase trait . The possible genotypes and phenotypes for the traits are:

-Mallard (M+) - Plumage (layer of feathers that cover the bird) coloration
-Restricted (M^R) - White on the wing fronts at maturity
-Dusky (m^d) - dusky pattern is darker and plainer
-Dark phase (Li+) - allows full expression of the three alleles of the M+
-Light phase (li) - lightening of the feathers and claret-colored (deep red) breast of the male
-Harlequin phase (li^H) - Has the claret-colored breast, but more exaggerated By: Quinn Johnson, Anna
Groebner, and Melanie Bailey Aquatic Ecosystem: Pond Species Evolution Cattails have adapted to their wetland environment. They have waxy leaves that protect them from water with chloroplasts on both sides that allow them to take advantage of the sun even when submerged.

Sexual dimorphism is the phenotypic difference in appearance between the males and females of the same species.
Mallard ducks show significant differences in appearance between genders, especially during the breeding season. Males, called drakes, have an iridescent green head, yellow bill, white neck band, rusty colored chest, gray body, and blue speculum (wing band). From mid-summer and through the fall drakes resemble the females more closely, but retain their dark green crown. Females, called hens, are brown and tan with dark brown heads and eye stripes year-round. Population Ecology Biotic factors that may influence population size is food, disease, competition. Biotic factors are also called density-dependent factors because population affects the resources. When the painted turtle population increases the competition for food increases and since the amount of food cannot change the population size decreases. Disease decreases population. If one organism is infected the disease will probably spread wiping out most of the population.

Some abiotic factors that may influence population size are natural disasters (causing genetic drift), oxygen concentrations, climate, temperature, sunlight, and rainfall. Natural disasters affect the population because if there was a tornado or flood, everything would be destroyed decreasing the population. The organisms will die if the oxygen concentrations are too low because they use dissolved oxygen to breathe. If the climate is cloudy and its precipitating a lot it will change the amount of sunlight which affects the plants that are the turtles' food source. The temperature can affect turtles greatly because they are ectothermic, which means that they maintain homeostasis from external factors, like laying in the sun. Others factors that would affect plants are rainfall and sunlight. Rainfall because too much water can drown the plants, but too little water will not allow the plant to function and die. water only absorbs Sunlight near the surface so all the plants are near the surface so they can care out photosynthesis. Community Ecology Ecosystem Ecology -the carbon cycle: framework of essential organic molecules, photosynthetic organisms use C02 and convert carbon to organic forms for use by animals, fungi, ect., photosynthesis by plants removes atmospheric CO2 which is balanced by CO2 added to the atmosphere through cellular respiration
-Each ecosystem carries out the water cycle, nitrogen cycle, and many others and it is not like the ecosystems have boundaries, the different nutrients can be used throughout the landscape. The flow of energy goes throughout all the ecosystems through the predator prey relationships by the 10 rule where every time you go up the food chain energy kept is 10 %. So the primary consumer has 99% energy, secondary consumer has 9.9% energy, tertiary consumer has .9%, and the quaternary consumer has .09%
-Organisms can go to different ecosystems and take the resources, like food or gather sticks to make a nest, like the red-winged blackbird. Or the organism could mate with another species and make a hybrid species. Bird calls can be heard miles away.
-There are some organism that can live in multiply ecosystems, like insects, worms and more, so animals that eat insects can probably go to different ecosystems to find food. Example is a squirrel, we see them all over the place, by the field, by the prairie looking for food and it mights drop something here and there. Human Impacts Reed Canary grass is an invasive species to this aquatic ecosystem, it is taking over the outer edge of the pond and the native species population is decreasing. Reed Canary is the first vegetation to come up in the spring so it makes it easier for the plant to take over the land around the pond before other species start growing. This grass grows to 2 inches to 6 inches in height and decreases competition and diversity. It competes with native species like Bluejoint, Lake Sledge, Rattlesnake Grass, and Prairie Cordgrass. Background: The Great Lakes area has had an increasing Mallard population over the years; greater than any other area in the country. Because of this scientists want to see if the differences in upland and wetland habitats are the cause.
Study: 9 sites were set up during a 3 year period. Each site had 60 Mallard hens decoy trapped in the spring and implanted with a transmitter. Radio-telometry on the transmitters was followed during the spring and summer and data was gathered.
Data: different information on breeding, nesting, brooding, and habitat was collected at each site. Nest success was a function of proportion of row crops; more acres of row crops lower nest success. Duckling survival was positively influenced by forest cover. Food web
Hawk - quaternary consumer
Mallard - tertiary consumer
Red-winged blackbird - Secondary consumer
fish - secondary consumer
snail - Primary consumer
algae - Producer -An example of habitat fragmentation is the road by Inver Hills. The forest probably went back and humans cut down the forest to build a school and roads.
-allopatric speciation is when the same species gets separated by a geographic barrier. We believe that these two ponds was once a large pond and because we build a school with many fields this caused the geographic barrier and the species evolved differently from each other to make to different species.

-A source of pollution in this ecosystem is the road by Inver Hills and the area that surrounds the college. The lawn on the campus is fertilized and when it rains that fertilizer can run into the pond. The affects the balance in the pond and the different nutrients in it. The main components of fertilizer are Nitrogen, Phosphrous, Potassium, Calcium, and Sulfer. With an excess of these in the pond the animals living there can be greatly affected. -Is a small body of water, the size and depth of the pond varies depending on the time of year. The life in these ponds depend on the algae and aquatic plants. The aquatic life is algae, snails, small fish, large fish, beetles, water bugs, frogs, turtles, otters, dragon flies, and muskrats; some may include alligators and herons. the difference of a pond and a lake is that the sunlight can reach the bottom floor of the pond allowing plants to live on the floor Red-winged Black Bird Reed Canary Grass Mallard Painted Turtle Cattails Sliver Maple Tree A main food source of the painted turtles in our pond is algae. This is a predator - prey relationship in which the algae is negatively effected and the turtle positively effected. The turtle gets nutrients from the algae, and the algae's population is negatively effected because the turtles keep it from growing too large.
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