Plant Chat Lab Packet 1

This topic submitted by Sarah Shook, Lorri Bazzel, Chris Robbins, Tony Wentz ( at 1:34 am on 10/21/99. Additions were last made on Wednesday, May 7, 2014. Section: Nicholson

Plant Chat’s Discovery Lab: Tree Distribution

Led By: Lorri Bazzel, Chris Robins, Sarah Shook, Tony Wentz

Our Group is experimenting with the development of plants. In particular, we are testing to find out if tone affects the growth of plants, and, if so, which tone (male, female, or primal scream) has the most effect on plant growth. This type of research could be important in discovering ways to increase productivity in agriculture. We have planted 60 plants and are in the process of testing our hypothesis that exposure to sound does affect plant growth.
Due to the nature of our lab, we have designed a discovery lab for the class that is not pertinent to “Plant Chat”. We decided to stay in the plant realm for our discovery lab for some relevance and connection however. Our discovery lab deals with another aspect of plant growth; natural tree distribution in the Western Woods. We would like to see if Beech or Maple trees are more prevalent in the woods. Our hypothesis is that Beech trees are the predominant species. This hypothesis was derived by the observations of Chris Robins. We hope to provide an engaging, entertaining, informative, and interactive activity for the members of Nancy’s two o’clock Natural Systems I class.

Western Woods is a diverse habitat with a variety of species of plants and animals that form a complex ecosystem, yet also is a typical example of a deciduous forest in this climate. The dispersion of trees in the Western Woods is a microcosm of the ecological changes that are occurring on a global scale today. The old growth forests worldwide are responsible for absorbing much of the CO2 and generating a lot of the O2 on earth, but many are dying out due to the pollution caused by man (for example, our lovely power plant behind Peabody Hall). By measuring the number of Beech trees compared to Maple trees in Western Woods, we can gain an understanding of if the ecological impact of man really is making an impact on the differentiation of tree species. We therefore hypothesize that our results will show a larger percentage of Beech trees in the woods as compared to Maple trees, to the comparative hearty structure of Beech trees. These results will be processed to confirm or reject or hypothesis.

Relevance of Research Question:
Our lab has a base on many studies that have already been done, some of which are listed at the end of our lab packet. Our research relates directly to the changes that occur over time in a forest stand. We hope to relate the presence of pollution to the occurrence of more Beech trees than Maple trees in the area of Western Woods, and more broadly, to the global increase in pollution and its impact on plan distribution.
Materials and Methods:
We will be randomly running 10 meter strings throughout a large area of Western woods and then counting the number of beech trees and the number of maple trees the strings. All the other trees the strings touch will be ignored. After collecting our data we will be comparing the ratio of beech trees to maple trees. This is experimentally sound because the samples are taken equally and the samples are random. We’re using random sampling and spreading out so we don’t measure the same grove of certain trees, and comparing two trees that easily discernable and ecologically relevant. We’re not measuring multiple trees to ensure that the statistical data is easy to work out, and to ensure that the class takes accurate data. We’re not having the class measure areas close to each other to ensure that we’re not taking measurements in one large grove of trees. Our data is statistically sound because we’re comparing two easily measurable data sets. We’ll easily be able test the Null hypothesis, as well. By making the lab relatively simple we’ll ensure the participants are able to collect accurate data. We will show the students examples of the beech and maple trees and demonstrate the proper, consistent data collection technique.

The only materials we’ll be using are ten-meter strings. By dividing the class into groups of three we’ll be directly involving the students in the data collection. We’ll also discuss the purpose of our lab with the class so they know why they’re collecting this data. The class will only be involved in collecting data; there is no time for them to process it. The group members will handle the processing of data. A data sheet will be completed at a later date.
1. NS Seminar- Meet at the Western Lodge at 2:00 o’clock. Hike into the woods together. Give demonstration. Distribute materials. Disperse to take measurements. Drop off results in Boyd.
2. Group members- Meet independently, process data using Statview, analyze results, and draw conclusions.

Literature Cited: (each from peer reviewed journals, via online distribution)
Title: “Stand structure as the basis of diversity index”
Authors: Lahde,Erkki Laiho,Olavi Norokoropi,Yrjo Saksa,Timo
Published by: Elsevier Science

Title: “A multi-species, density dependent matrix growth model to predict tree diversity and income in northern hardwood stands”
Authors: Ching,RongLin Buongiorno,Joseph Vasievich,Mike
Published by: Elsevier Science

Title: “The effect of shelter wood logging on the diversity of plant species in a beech forrest in Japan”
Authors: Nagaike, Takou Kamitani,Tomohiko Nakashizuka,Tohru
Published by: Elsevier Science

Title: “Phenological Pattern of Tree Regeneration in a Model for Forrest Species Diversity”
Authors: Kubo,Takuya Iwasa,Yoh
Published by: Academic Press

Title: “ Seasonal and successful understory vascular plant diversity in second-growth hardwood clearcuts of western Maryland, USA”
Authors: Yorks,Thad Dabydeen,Simon
Published by: Elsevier Science

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