User:Anisa Santiago/Notebook/Biology 210 at AU

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Exercise 5, Invertebrates

For this experiment, at least five different invertebrates were collected from the Berlese funnel collection. The five different invertebrates were studied and observed and identified using the dichotomous key. A detailed description of each invertebrate collected can be seen in Table 1.

Table 1: Classification of Invertebrates


As you can see from Table 1, of the organisms observed there was not too much variation. Each organism measured in at either 1mm, one was at 2mm, and the last organism was at .25mm. Because there were samples of organism #3, one of them measure in at the largest, 2mm, and the other was just 1mm. Organism #4 rang in the lowest at .25mm. Due to the similar trends seen across these four different types of organisms, it can be concluded that transect four's most common invertebrates are very small organisms in size ranging from .25mm-2mm, with likely segmented bodies, 8 legs, and relatively dark in color (brown/black/grey). Along with finding these very small invertebrates in Transect 4, you could also expect to find vertebrates such as mammalia (deer), testudinia (turtles), actinopterygiii (fish), aves (birds), and anura (frogs); the classification for each of these vertebrates can be seen below:

  • Deer: Chordata, mammal, artiodactyla, cervidae, odocileus, odecileus virginianus
  • Turtles: Chordata, reptilia, testudines, chelnoiidae, chelonia, mydas
  • Fish: Chordata, actinopterygii, cypriniformes, cyprinidae, cyprinus, cyprinus carpio
  • Birds: Chordata, aves, passeriformes, turdidae, turdus, turdus migratorious
  • Frogs: Chordata, vetabrata, amphibia, anura, ranidae, lithobates, catesbianus

Many different biotic and abiotic characteristics benefit the environment for each species. The deer benefit from the bushes and and grass as sources of food and shelter. The turtle benefit from the overall environment of the transect due to its dry and wet conditions. There is the pond where some turtles may find their natural habitat for swimming while others might use the surrounding rocks around the pond as a place for sunbathing. The fish located in the pond use the water and smaller organisms within the pond as both a habitat and form of survival. The birds feed off some of the taller trees that contain small budding plant as well as use the trees and bushes to rest on or grow nests for future generations. Lastly, the frogs would benefit similar to the turtles in that they have the pond as a source of water for swimming and eating smaller organisms located within it and they have the surrounding rocks and grass area for resting and sun bathing and as a habitat. Image 1 presents a food web specific to the species found in Transect 4.

Image 1: Food Web for Transect 4


The organisms that make up transect 4 represent a community composed of interacting species including trees, bushes, leaves, soil, small organisms like arthropods, fish, and visiting organisms occasionally like birds and squirrels. Due to the transect's garden setting, the carrying capacity is limited to much smaller organisms. The ability of this ecosystem to hold organisms is mostly limited to insects and small animals like squirrels and a very small population of aquatic life. This ecosystem could not hold bigger vertebrates such as a bear or fox. They may come to this transect space to feed off the small organisms that live there but they would certainly not be living in such an ecosystem. The large snow storm that swept through DC recently could have easily altered the ecosystem's carrying capacity. The large snow amounts may have wiped out certain organisms but then the warm weather and fast melting of the snow could have increased the carrying capacity because it may have attracted animals that like wet, damp places, but could have also decreased the carrying capacity because organisms that usually live there may not be adapt to the very watery conditions. Because the carrying capacity ranges in organisms this allows the ecosystem to have a food web of all the different trophic levels. For example something like soil of the ecosystem is a primary producer and a bird would be a tertiary consumer in this case.

Exercise 4, Identifying and Studying Plants

For this experiment, five different plant species were collected from the transect in order to practice identifying and studying plants. The five plants that were collected can be seen in the following image and their general characteristics can be seen in the table following the image.

Image 1: Plants Collected from Transect with Respective Labeling


Table 1: General Characteristics of Plants


Along with observing the five different plants from the transect, some forms of fungi were also studied. Fungi sporangia are spores located on the fungi and occur when hyphae grow in the upward direction and then create black, small sphere-like spores. Fungi sporangia are important because sporangia are the origin of meiosis, which produce haploid spores what are genetically distinct. Using a dissecting microscope, black bread mold (zygomycota), a mushroom (basidomycota), and fungus growing on seeds (ascomycota) were all observed and classified into their respective fungi groups. The mushroom can be seen in Image 2 and Image 3.

Image 2: Ariel View of Mushroom


Image 3: Mushroom Under Microscope


Exercise 3, Microbiology and Identifying Bacteria

Before the procedures for Exercise 3 were conducted, one last observation of the Hay Infusion for Transect 4 was made. Similar to the previous week, the Hay Infusion Culture had not changed that much. The water, however, was slightly darker and the white film that was layering the top of the water had browned slightly. I would hypothesize that if the Hay Infusion Culture would be left to sit from week to week then we would see a change in the amount of algae and bacteria growing on the top of the water, along with a change in the color of the water due to the opportunity the contents in the container have to dissolve into the water.

                                                                          Quantifying and Observing Microorganisms

Table 1: 100-fold Serial Dilutions Results Table1.jpg

The data shown in Table 1 was collected after observing the growth of bacteria on the eight agar plates inoculated from the Hay Infusion Culture that were prepared the previous week. It can be seen that more colonies of bacteria formed on the agar plates that just contained nutrient agar compared to the plates that contained nutrients and tetracycline. This can be because of the fact that tetracycline is an antibiotic meaning that the agar plates containing the tetracycline did not offer a hospitable environment for bacteria to grow. The few colonies that had grown on the agar plates containing tetracycline were probably resistant to the antibiotic, allowing for it to survive on the agar plate. Tetracycline inhibits protein synthesis (Chopra)* however some bacteria, such as staphylococcal, streptococcal, and pneumococcal, are typically resistant to tetracycline(Klajn)*.

                                                                            Bacteria Cell Morphology Observation

In order to observe the bacteria cell morphology, two well defined colonies from the nutrient agar plate and two from the tetracycline plate were chosen. These four colonies were used to perform a gram stain and a native wet mount. Table 2 depicts the characteristics of each of the four chosen bacterial colonies recorded after performing the Gram Stain and the native wet mount. The images following Table 2 are the drawings of each organism observed from the four bacterial colonies chosen.


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  • Sources:

Chopra, Ian, and Marilyn Roberts. "Tetracycline Antibiotics: Mode of Action, Applications, Molecular Biology, and Epidemiology of Bacterial Resistance." Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews. American Society for Microbiology, June 2001. Web. 31 Jan 2016. <>.

Klajn, Rafal. "Antimicrobial Properties." Tetracycline. Institute of Organic Chemistry, n.d. Web. 31 Jan. 2016. <>.

Exercise 2, Identifying Algae and Protists

The following data was recorded after observing the Hay Infusion Culture for Transect 4

The appearance of the culture was that of dirty, murky water. It smelled of decomposing feces and had a white film-like mold on the surface of the water, indicating apparent life.

                               Organisms from Niche 1: Area near plant and mold, on the surface of the water

Bact1.jpg Bact2.jpg Bact3.jpg

                                 Organisms from Niche 2: Bottom of the container near flower petal

Bact4.jpg Bact5.jpg

If the culture grew for another two months, I would expect to see a large, more profound amount of mold and green shoots, not only on the surface of the water, but throughout the entire culture. I would expect that over the course of the two months, the organisms already living in the culture that rely on consuming nutrients would use up all their resources and would probably begin to die. On the other hand, those organisms that produce their own nutrients, would continue to grow and reproduce.

Exercise 1, Examining Biological Life at AU: Transect Report

                                General Characteristics of Transect 

The Transect being observed is Transect 4. Transect 4 is located outside of Gray Hall, behind SIS and the Library. The specified 20 by 20 foot area is a part of a quiet, wildlife observation area. There are two wooden benches where passerby's can in front of a small pond. The area is decorated with 3 trees and several bushes with pink flowers. The pond in the center of the designated transect area is bordered with various size rocks and two small decorative statues. The two benches are in front of the pond, facing inwards towards each other. The day of observation was sunny and frigid.

                                Ariel View of Transect

IMG 2833.JPG

Key for Areal Diagram

  • 1. Benches
  • 2. Pond
  • 3. Rocks Surrounding Pond
  • 4. Stone Pathway
  • 5. Tree
  • 6. Flower Bushes
  • 7. Weed Grass
  • 8. Twig Bushes
  • 9. Grass
                            Components of Transect

Biotic Numbers in parenthesis indicate drawn location of components within the transect

  • Trees (5)
  • Flower Bush (6)
  • Twig Bush (8)
  • Grass (9)
  • Fish (in pond)
  • Water (in pond 2)

Abiotic Numbers in parenthesis indicate drawn location of components within the transect

  • Soil (dispersed throughout the transect)
  • Acorns (dispersed throughout the transect)
  • Dead Leaves (dispersed throughout the transect)
  • Rocks (3)
  • Stones (4)
  • Benches (1)
  • Garden Statue (Located on the south corner of the pond)
  • Wildlife Observation Sign (Past furthest tree on the SE side of transect)
                         Photographs of Different Areas in the Transect


  • West corner of transect. Tree and Flower Bush shown.


  • Pond and rocks surrounding pond


  • Grass Patch in Transect


  • Stone Pathway


  • South Corner of Transect. Tree shown.


  • Flower Bush shown