Bio 210:Notebook/Plantae and Fungi
Lab #4: Plantae & Fungi
Introduction: Plants and Fungi are two groups among the Protists that have an immense impact and influence on the environment and ability for other life to live. Plants are photosynthetic, providing sugar and oxygen to other organisms in the environment. Fungi can serve as decomposers cleaning up the pollution within our environment, making space, and aiding plants in nutrients within their roots and soil. The diversity of plant life today is due to the adaptation of plants to land from aquatic environments. this diversity stem from the presence of vascularization, presence of specialized structures, and mechanism of reproduction (Bio 210 Lab Manual). Through the morphological observation by microscope, one can examine the characteristics of various plant and fungi life.
Materials & Methods: Prior to beginning the lab, PCR samples were observed. The ones retrieved lacked volume and substance and thus 10 microliters of 1x TAE buffer was added to each sample. Sample Tetracycline 10^-5 was loaded in the second to last space in lane 1. In this lab experiment, transect 2 was revisited to collect 500 grams worth of diverse plant life and leaf litter from various areas of our transect. Each plant life collected was paralleled according to its location within the transect. A few samples were then put under the microscope to observe and identify the vascularization and size of these plant life within the transect. Using the key provided as a model, 5 samples mechanisms of reproduction were determined, along with other characteristics that were observed. Thereafter, a fungi sample provided was observed. The inner structures and characteristics were used to justify why this sample was coined as a Fungi. To conclude procedures, a berlese funnel leaf litter sample was created through use of a ethanol/water solution and screening material ( to keep the leaf litter in tack) to observe invertebrates that reside in transect for the following week (Bio 210 Lab Manual).
Results: The plant life and leaf litter was not very diverse in our transect, however from the corners and middle of our transect we collected samples of leaves and litter. Due to the winter conditions outside, majority of the trees were bare thus there was more leaf litter available than plant life alive available to collect. Among the plant life collected, 4 plants had vascularization and one did not. In addition, all samples were classified as dicots which accounted for their mechanism of reproduction. These conclusions among the many made, shown in the pictures below were based on the key provided of common characteristics among plants that contain vascularization and that are monocot or dicot. Among the samples there was no evidence of spores apparent. There were also no flowers apparent and this was concluded based on the fact that our transect showed no sign of any flowers. The fungi we identified that was collected prior was a mushroom. We were able to conclude due to observation of its hyphae and mycelium structures. Through aid of a key for identifying fungi we came to these conclusions. In addition since fungi reproduce via spores, it makes sense why this particular fungus would be a mushroom in terms of its ability to appear in various places.
Plant Samples #1 - 5 in Order from Left to Right
Conclusion: Upon observing the plant life of transect 2, our predictions of diversity among the transect was deemed too vague and far a conclusion. According to the mechanisms of reproduction and morphological structure of the plants we collected, they appeared to be quite similar and might have been part of a similar or related lineage. Though most of these plant samples contained vascularization, each sample had slightly different specialized structure which could account for its own function and contribution ecologically. Though a variety of plant life was requested, our transect upon examining just physical structure didn't appear to contain that much of a variety of plant life. This may have also been because of the weather conditions, it being winter, imposed on the transect. We also realized that the transect was influenced my some man made influence with a pipe system controlling the flowing stream in the center of it, and stones for a pathway being placed on the outskirts of it. All in all, through microscopic observation we were able to conclude that the plants were different in terms of specialization but similar in terms of its mechanisms of reproduction.