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Ecological Field Investigation: Terrestrial Ecosystem 1

Keach Nichole F. Lotho


Kristin Gay P. Rizardo
Ma. Angela S. Ramos
Josapath Kelvin T. Lapiz

April 1, 2014

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A scientific paper submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements in Biology 3


laboratory under Prof. Evangeline D. Pascual, 2nd sem., 2013-2014.

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION
Ecology, as defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is a branch of science concerned
with the interrelationship of organisms and their environments. Campbell et al. (2003) stated that
an ecosystem consists of a biological community, or all the biotic components, along with the
non-living environmental factors, or abiotic components. Biology Online defined biotic factor
as factor created by a living thing or any living component within an environment in which the
action of the organism affects the life of another organism, for example a predator consuming
its prey. Abiotic factor, on the other hand, is non-living chemical or physical factor in
the environment, such as soil, pH, forest fire, etc. According to Education Portal, terrestrial
ecosystems are those that are found only on land. The tropical rain forest, according to
blueplanetbiomes.org, is a forest of tall trees in a region of year-round warmth. An average of 50
to 260 inches (125 to 660 cm.) of rain falls yearly. Rain forests belong to the tropical wet climate
group. The temperature in a rain forest rarely gets higher than 93 F (34 C) or drops below 68
F (20 C); average humidity is between 77 and 88%; rainfall is often more than 100 inches a
year. There is usually a brief season of less rain. In monsoonal areas, there is a real dry season.
Almost all rain forests lie near the equator.
In an ecosystem, the amount of light is vital because together with water and carbon
dioxide, it is used in photosynthesis, the process where plants and other organisms produce food
(Campbell et al., 2003). The environment is to be observed whether it is in full sunlight, in partial
shade, lighted by sun flecks, or in full shade. The Free Dictionary defined air temperature as the
degree of hotness or coldness of the atmosphere. The temperature is to be measured every 10

minutes for 30 minutes and getting the average. Wind velocity, according to Encyclopedia
Britannica, is the measurement of the speed of speed of wind in a given direction. The wind
velocity is to be classified weather it is still, slight, or windy. Oxford dictionary defines humidity
as the state or quality of being humid. The environment is to be classified weather it is not
humid, slightly humid or very humid. Soil texture, as stated by soilquality.org.au, is a measure of
the relative proportion of the various soil particle size fractions in soil. It affects the physical and
chemical properties of soil. The environment is to be described weather the soil is clayey, sandy,
or loamy. The soil moisture is to be classified weather it is xeric, hydric, or mesic. Merriam
Webster dictionary defines elevation as the height of a place. The environment is to be classified
as lowland, mid-elevation, or high elevation. Topography is defined by vocabulary.com as the
detailed map of the surface features of land. It includes the mountains, hills, creeks, and other
bumps and lumps on a particular hunk of earth. The environment is to be classified as flatland,
on a slope, or on top of a hill. Locality is defined by Oxford dictionaries as the position or site of
something.
The objectives of the activity are to: identify and describe the biotic and abiotic
components of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems; illustrate the horizontal and vertical
distribution of the biotic components of the two ecosystems; describe the effects of the biotic on
the abiotic components; infer the relationships of the biotic components of the two ecosystems;
and compare the effects of the abiotic components on the number distribution and the adaptations
of the biota in the two ecosystems.
The experiment was performed at the College of Forestry and Natural Resources,
University of the Philippines- Los Banos on March 14, 2014.

MATERIALS AND METHODS


For the ecological field investigation in the terrestrial ecosystem, an appropriate site was
chosen. A starting point was distinguished and was labelled A. From A, a transect line was
stretched along the length of the site until it forms a straight line from A to a point marked as B.
Four groups will perform the study and each will select the section of the area to be
studied. The transect will be divided into three equal parts as seen in the figure below:
K

For Group 1, a 5m distance perpendicular to line AB from point A to C will be measured using a
meter stick. The 5x5 m area to be delimited by ACEF will be the part to be observed.
For Group 2, a 5 m square area marked CGHD will also be measured off on the side of the
transect line opposite that of Group 1.
Lastly for Group 3, a 5 m square area, DIJB on the same side of the transect line as Group 1 will
also be studied.

Specific factors affecting the ecosystem was observed by each group while conducting the study.
The information were recorded in table 9.1 in the worksheet. The factors are as follows:
a. Amount of light
b. Air temperature
c. Wind velocity
d. Humidity
e. Soil texture
f. Soil moisture
g. Elevation
h. Topography
i. Locality
The living components were also studied in the investigation. The organisms were
characterized based on their location in the ecosystem, their classification, their population size
and their appearance. Observations were recorded in Table 9.2 in the worksheet. The horizontal
and vertical distributions of the individuals of each species in the chosen ecosystem were also
observed. A profile of the horizontal and vertical distribution of the different populations was
also constructed.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION


A. Terrestrial Ecosystem
Table 9.1 Physical characteristics of terrestrial ecosystem.
Parameters
1st Observation
2nd Observation
3rd Observation
Amount of Light
Sunflecks
Partial shade
Partial shade
Air Temperature
26.77C
40C
28.1C
Wind Velocity
Slight
Slight
Still
Humidity
Slightly humis
Not humid
Slightly humid
Soil Moisture
mesic
mesic
Xeric
Soil Texture: __clayey__
Topography: __on a slope of a hill__

4th Observation
Sunflecks
28.5C
Slight
Slightly humid
Mesic

Elevation: __high elevation__


Locality: __province__

Table 9.2 Biotic components of a terrestrial ecosystem.


Kind and
Distribution
Identity of
Species Name
pattern
Length/Height
organisms
Producers
--mature trees --scattered
--ferns
--clumped
--Arroid 1
--scattered
(vines)
--scattered
--Caryota
--scattered
---clumped
Dieffenbachia --scattered
--mosses
--scattered
---scattered
Dipterocarpus
--Pandakakis
--Allandium
Consumers
--ants
--scattered
--spiders
--scattered
--termites
--clumped
--butterfly
--random
--caterpillar
--scattered
--millipede
--clumped
--fly
--random
Decomposers --lichen
--scattered

Number
--2
--3
--4
--2
--9
--many
--5
--2
--2

--many
--3
--many
--1
--1
--3
--1
--many

Distinguishing
Features

Table 9.3 (UV-3L)


Table 9.3 Physical characteristics of terrestrial ecosystem.
Parameters
Amount of light
Air temperature
Wind velocity
Humidity
Soil moisture

First observation
Sunflecks
28.5 C
Slight
Slightly humid
Mesic

Soil texture: Clayey


Topography: On a slope of a hill

Elevation: High elevation


Locality: Province

Table 9.4 Biotic components of a terrestrial ecosystem.


Kind and
identity of
organisms
Producers

Consumers

Decomposers

Species
name

Distributio
n pattern

Length/Heigh
t

Numbe
r

Distinguishing
features

Caryota
Dieffenbac
hia
Odontonem
a
Livistonia
Syngonium
Pandakakia

Random
Scattered
Clumped
Clumped
Random
Clumped

25 in
8 in
45 in
31 in
17 in
34 in

3
8
Many
1
Many
3

Bees
Termites
Ants

Clumped
Clumped
Clumped

1 in
5 mm
1 cm

Many
Many
Many

Spiders

Scattered

5 cm

Lichens

Clumped

7 in

many

Bipinnate
leaves
Spotted leaves
Raceme
Fan-shaped
leaf
Spadix leaves
White starshaped flower
Stinger
Smaller hind
wings
Equal sizes of
wings
Four pairs of
legs
White spots on
barks of trees

UV-4L
Table 9.5 Physical characteristics of terrestrial ecosystem
Parameter
Amount of Light

1st Observation
Sunfleck

2nd observation
Sunfleck

3rd Observation
Sunfleck

Air Temperature
Wind velocity
Humidity
Soil moisture

28 deg. celsius
still
Slightly humid
xeric

Soil Texture loamy


Topography in a slope

28 deg. celsius
still
Slightly humid
xeric

28.5 deg. celsius


still
Slightly humid
xeric

Elevation High elevation


Locality
Province

Table 9.6 Biotic components of terrestrial ecosystem


Kind and
identity of
organism
Producers
Llanas
Moonflower
Mahogany
orchid

Species Name

Distribution
Pattern

Length/height

Number

Distinguishing
Features

Llanas sp.
Asystasia
gangetica
Toona calantas
Dendrochilum
magnum

Horizontal
Horizontal
Vertical
Horizontal

Approx. 28 ft.
Approx. 46 ft.
Approx. 48 ft.
Approx. 1 ft.

4
15
2
4

Woody Vine
Invasive Vine
Dipterocarp
Colorful

Horizontal
Vertical

Approx. 2 in.
Approx. 1 cm.

2
19

Black, Large
Black

Vertical

Approx. 5 cm

Black

Horizontal

Approx. 2 in.

Black

grasshopper

Nephila pilipes
Aphaenogaster
treatae
Eupatorus
gracillicornis
Narceus
annularis
Caelifera

Vertical

Approx. 4 cm

Jumping

Decomposers
Mushroom

Basidiomycete

Vertical

Approx. 3 cm

Consumers
Spider
Ants
rhinoceros
beetle
millipede

C-7L
A. Terrestrial Ecosystem
Table 9.7 Physical characteristics of FOREST ecosystem.

Dry

Parameters
Amount of Light
Air temperature
Wind Velocity
Humidity
Soil Moisture

1st Observation
Lighted by sun flecks
26.77 C
slight
Slightly humid
mesic

Soil texture: Clayey


Topography: Slope

2nd Observation
Lighted by sun flecks
26.77 C
slight
Slightly humid
mesic

Elevation: High elevation


Locality: Mt. Makiling, Baranggay Batong Malaki, Los
Banos, Laguna

Table 9.8 Biotic components of FOREST ecosystem.


Kind and
Species name
Distribution
Length/ Height
Identity of
patterns
Organisms
Producers:
Plant 1
Scattered
60 cm- 100 cm

Caryota sp.

Random

Plant 3

Random

133 cm- 189


cm

Number

Distinguishing
features

24

-Shrub with
green stem.
Big, whitespotted leaves.
- Parallel
venation,
herbaceous
green stem,
low-lying but
lengthy,
opposite
phyllotaxy.
-Lobate leaf
margins, big
leaves, herb
-Woody, Tall,
upright tree
Hanging vine
with violet
leaves.
-Low-lying
herbaceous
plant with
spiked
inflorescence.
-Tall shrub
with decussate
phyllotaxy.

1
75 cm

Plant 4

Random

1
1500 cm

Plant 5

Clumped

1
900 cm

Plant 6

Scattered

9
46 cm- 54 cm

Dipterocarpus
sp.

3rd Observation
Lighted by sun flecks
26.77 C
Slight
Slightly humid
mesic

Scattered

11
209 cm- 500
cm

10

Random

Plant 8
91 cm

Random

Plant 9
100 cm

Random

Plant 10
297 cm

Random

Plant 11
88 cm
Consumers:

Decomposers:

Black ants

Clumped

1.1 cm, 0.2 cm

many

Spider

Random

0.3 cm, 0.5 cm

Termites

Clumped

0.5 cm, 0.2 cm

Many

Ascladocricus
sp.

Random

7 cm, 0.7 cm

Fungi
Bacteria
Lichens

Scattered
Scattered
Clumped

Microscopic
Microscopic
1.5 cm in
diameter

Many
Many
many

-almost like
plant 1but
with crenated
leaf margins
and without
the white
spots.
-herbaceous
plant with
small, smooth
and lobate
leaves with
attenuate leaf
apices.
-a shrub
growing attach
with Plant 4
with parted
leaf
phyllotaxy.
-herb with
giant leaves.
-bigger than
the usual,
black, sixlegged insects.
-Very small,
brown
-Like ants but
white
-Long, slender,
red worm,
curls up when
touched. Many
yellow legs

Green-white in
color, attached
on trees.

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