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Watershed

A) The most general observation to be made after applying precipitation to the model was that the water tended to flow from a high elevation in the SW of the location, through a flatter area where most of the larger plant communities were located, and then down slope again in the direction of the lake in the distance.

B) Discussed in A.

C) 0.5 km to the S over the ridge is a fenced off skate park and 1.0-1.5 km to the SW is a parking lot.

D) Carbon is coming into the system through many sources such as dead organic matter, animal excrement, and through the atmosphere. Nitrogen, which can also be found coming from animal excrement, is provided through decomposers, nitrogen fixation in plants, and the atmosphere. Phosphorous can enter the system through the weathering of rocks and other minerals, and plants.

E) These nutrients should be found in high concentrations in the flora and fauna. They should occur in highest concentrations in the soil where there are large established plant communities or large concentrations of animal waste.

F) Nutrients can leave the system by being consumed, nutrients from the soil can be lost through heavy erosion, nitrogen can be unable to be input into the soil if there is a lack of nitrogen fixers to obtain the atmospheric nitrogen.

G) The main plant communities in my location appear to occur as perennial shrubs in the level (non sloping area) beneath the ridge, and before the drain (downward slope) to the lake. This seems to be the best location geographically for perennial plants to establish deeper roots, and collect the most water while it is in transit.

H) In my location an organism, the shrubs in the plant communities, could block dead organic matter (dead annual plants for example) as it is washed from the higher elevation on the ridge, this could in turn increase the soil quality which would enter a positive feedback loop with the plants allowing them to form healthier communities.

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Taken on April 6, 2012