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Thread: Ecology experiment

  1. #1 Ecology experiment 
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    I'm a bio student at the University of PR and we have to do an ecology experiment that is due for December. I decided to do it with plants since they tend to remain still, but I don't have a clear idea for it. So, can anyone suggest angles, some general ideas, subjects (I live in the island of Puerto Rico, in the Caribbean)? We were thinking to do something along the lines of measuring plant recovery from certain poisons but I don't know any poisons, or how to measure this. I also thought of somehow seeing how, in a given environment, changing the dominance of plant species (i.e. augmenting some while reducing others) would affect the system, but, again, I don't know how to do this properly.

    IOW, I'm kinda stumped.

    By the way, while this is a requirement, I really want to do a good job because I like this stuff so, honestly, all suggestions are very welcome.


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  3. #2  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    i recently heard of an article on the impact of coconuts on human health.


    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

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  4. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    i recently heard of an article on the impact of coconuts on human health.
    That's way over my head, I think.

    BTW, they don't have to be plants. I just chose plants because they tend to stay in one place.
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  5. #4 Re: Ecology experiment 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fizzle
    I'm a bio student at the University of PR and we have to do an ecology experiment that is due for December. I decided to do it with plants since they tend to remain still, but I don't have a clear idea for it. So, can anyone suggest angles, some general ideas, subjects (I live in the island of Puerto Rico, in the Caribbean)? We were thinking to do something along the lines of measuring plant recovery from certain poisons but I don't know any poisons, or how to measure this. I also thought of somehow seeing how, in a given environment, changing the dominance of plant species (i.e. augmenting some while reducing others) would affect the system, but, again, I don't know how to do this properly.

    IOW, I'm kinda stumped.

    By the way, while this is a requirement, I really want to do a good job because I like this stuff so, honestly, all suggestions are very welcome.
    You could look at the effect on growth of plants using different types of fertilizers. Poisons could be any sort of chemical that might be introduced into the environment, such as motor oil, detergents, and so on. You could compare two neighboring pieces of land that have different types of plants and monitor the aminals living in one or the other.
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  6. #5  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    describe the transition in species in sectors going from beach to inland.

    first 10m : no plant species.
    second 10m: whatever you find.
    third 10m: whatever you find.

    You will probably find a different distribution.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

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  7. #6  
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    Ok, i've setteled on anoles and I need a tracking method. I think that electronic tagging would work best,, because otherwise I'd need to constantly recapture the individuals, which sometimes might not be possible (tall tree or something) so I ask: Got any place to buy them online?
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  8. #7  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    you got to be kidding.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    you got to be kidding.
    Why?

    ETA: Bit much, isn't it?
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  10. #9  
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    I did a similar experiment when I was studying ecology.
    I carried out a description of the ecology of a pond. I used an aquarium. You could easily use a series of aquariums (or even glass jars) to test the effect of different parameters on your test ecosystem.

    Add water - a little general purpose fertiliser, and the contents of a local pond to your aquarium. Stand back and wait. In due course, you will have plenty of green slime and green colour in the water. These are your phototrophs. Microscopic examination will identify them for you, and various counting methods can be used to quantify them.

    You will also find lots of microscopic animal life, eating the plants. Again, you can check them and describe them.

    Once you have identified the flora and fauna, you can experiment. Test the effects of more or less fertiliser. Check the effect of local polluting materials on flora and fauna in your test ecosystems. You can see what effect changes in physical parameters such as temperature or light levels have on your test ecosystem.

    In fact, the potential for experimentation is endless.
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  11. #10  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    there are experiments everywhere yes, but the general limiter in science is finance.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

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  12. #11  
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    I read today that tidepool sculpins, after high tide washes them to open sea, return (by smell, possibly) to their home pools. Perhaps if you have tide pool fish, you could mark/tag/fin clip them. Count the returns. Of course they're easy to net in a little pool.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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