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ecology 017 | by MichiganSpring'11
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ecology 017

a. I found it difficult to actually get my hills and valleys to stay, so I bunched paper under my map. Then when I sprayed the water I could appreciate the true movement.

b. The water moved from forested areas to low ground and eventually stopped when it reached the ponds. There was a small ravine leading from the trail to the pond on the left and more water gathered in this area before traveling to the pond and it did it at a quicker rate then if it was just flowing from forested areas.

c. The closest human structures are actually the paved pathway bordering the lot at the bottom of the picture and the fence running along the right side of the trail. Houses and building structures are more than half a mile away from this location. The paved path has been designed to have a slight slope and is higher than the forested area. This would effect water flow and runoff, which may have contributed to the small pond on the right hand side of the picture. If the path had not been placed where it is that water may not have had the opportunity to gather here and may have just continued down the slight incline to the larger lake.

d. Carbon, Nitrogen, and Phosphorus would be entering the ecosystem from the rain and growth of the forest. As the vegetation (leaf litter, dead trees, mosses, plants) begins to decompose these compounds are released back into the environment. Through the process of photosynthesis within the vegetation, Carbon is brought back into ecosystem . I do not know the composition of the soil, but phosphorus could be coming out of rocks and entering this way (Molles, p421) Fertilizer run off from nearby neighborhoods and a golf course could also be contributing nitrogen and phosphorus. Animals and humans also contribute by leaving feces and food,

e. Water would effect their location because as it flows over the ground it will carry these nutrients, also when it evaporates. They would be concentrated in and around bodies of water or areas that have flooding.

f. Nutrients leave the area with evaporation or consumption by plants and animals. Also as runoff. They may become unavailable if they are concentrated in one area which cannot be reached by organisms, there might be a physical obstruction like a man made path as in my example. Nutrients that are contained within the trees and vegetation would be unavailable to other vegetation or organisms.

g. Landscape would affect where organisms lived because it may cause pooling or water or organic nutrients that are tolerated by some organisms and others may not be able to. In my ecosystem there was a concentration of small bushes living along the shallow ravine, this may have been due to the concentration of water and nutrients in that area that the shrubs preferred.

h. Organisms may have an effect on the factors by altering them physically, such as consuming a certain type of vegetation or in my ecosystem, the placement of a paved trail allowing excess water to pool and form a small pond. Which in turn is concentrating nutrients and causing trees to die.

 

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Taken on June 5, 2011