Ecology Project Assignment Two

Due Friday, October 26

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In this assignment you will focus upon identification and classification of the plants in your site. But you may find it useful to look for sign of animals on your site as well (which will be your next assignment). It is important to not just look in your 10m by 10m square, you can look in the area adjacent to your site for interesting plant and animal evidence that is typical of your ecosystem.

Part 1: Clean up your Binder

Some areas of improvement:


You need to identify the individual trees, shrubs, mosses and other plants in your area. Also try to identify the dominant vegetation in your area. Is it Oak woodland?, redwoods?, grassland? etc.

With fall comes falling leaves. You need to identify your plants before the leaves are gone! You will need to include lots of close-up photos, leaf rubbings and data about each plant in this assignment.

Here are some examples of the types of data you will need to record (Remember the tree classification we did!!)

A nice way to get a detailed picture of a leaf (and some barks) is to take a rubbing. Place a piece of soft paper (tracing paper works well) against the leaf and rub with the side of a pencil, a charcoal stick, or a crayon. You may need to practice the technique a few times before you can get an acceptable rubbing.

Do not take any living samples from your site–leave as little of an impact as possible!

When you return to school you can use the identification books in the library and science office to help you.

IMPORTANT: Remember to build in time for your photos to be developed

Mount and label photographs, a page per plant with the photo, rubbings, data and a short description is a good idea. Clearly label and organize all material


PART 3: Seasonal Changes

Take a photograph that conveys the essence of the season. If this can't be done with only one photograph, then take as many as is necessary. This may include changes in foliage color and ground condition. (Including water in creeks if pertinent) The goal is to spot any seasonal changes to your site from your first visit.

IMPORTANT: You should do this for the next two assignments as well.


PART 4: Quiet Observations

Finally try to spend some time just sitting on the ground without talking for 5-10 minutes. Close your eyes and listen to the sounds around you. If you wait long enough the animal life that hid and stopped make noises will return!

Each member of the group should write a brief description of the seasonal changes you observe, referencing photos in your description. Include brief observations of the sounds you hear, and how careful listening changes your interpretation of the site. This should reflect your personal observation about your site and should be written independdntly of the other members of your group.

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