Biodiversity Lab #2 - Make up version

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Nov 16, 2013 (3 years and 11 months ago)

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Biodiversity of Alabama Lab #2

Species that are endangered, invasive, poisonous and symbols


Station
1
: Chestnut

1
a. Draw a detailed picture of
this chestnut husk.

1
b.
The nut inside is the seed for the chestnut tree. What function does the spiky husk

serve?

1c
. Why do we not have many chestnut trees in the U.S. anymore?





Station
2
: Rattlesnake

2
a. What is the purpose of the rattle?

2
b. Read the following information. What is the scientific name of the timber rattlesnake?

2
c. List three reas
ons that the numbers of timber rattlesnakes has dropped.


“Timber Rattlesnake.
Crotalus horridus
. Fairly common to uncommon statewide, except
for extreme southern Alabama. Commonly called canebrake or velvet
-
tail rattlesnake. A
large venomous snake of
upland and lowland forested habitats, especially in sparsely
settled areas. Declining or absent from many formerly inhabited areas because of direct
persecution, habitat fragmentation, and gradual loss of deciduous and mixed forest
types, but still apparen
tly secure in some areas.”














Station
3
: Order Hymenoptera

3
a. List five common names for member of the order Hymenoptera.

3
b. One of the characteristics of hymenopterans is their extremely narrow “waist.” Look at this specimen
under the microscope and observe the constricted waist.


3c
.
Fire ants are an invasive species of the order Hymenoptera. They first came to the U
.S. by way of ships in
the port of Mobile, AL. They have since extended their range across the south, causing a lot of trouble.
How
do fire ants negatively affect

(1)

pastures
?
(2) l
ivestock

and poultry
?
(3) farm machinery
?

(4) electrical
equipment (5
) people?


Fire ants can cause quite a problem. Red imported fire ants interrupt farming production because they construct their
colonies on precious farmland. They also like to make their mounds in sunny areas. Therefore, pastures are heavily
infested
. The control of these ants in pastures, hay fields, and recreational turf grass is at least a $28 dollars per acre
expense. Livestock and poultry can be injured and even killed by stings. Small birds such as baby quail are fair game to
the expanding colon
y. Farm machinery is often damaged by running over a mound. Red imported fire ants can quickly
strip fruit trees of their fruit. They appear to be attracted to electromagnetic fields and attack electrical insulation or w
ire
connections. They are a danger t
o workers and can cause electrical shorts, fires, and other damage to electrical
equipment.


One of the most important problems red imported fire ants produce is a hea
l
th risk to the human population. In 1987 in
South Carolina, 500,000 stings required

medical attention, costing $1.8 million.”


Station

4
: Privet, kudzu

4
a. What is the term for an introduced species that moves into an area and outcompetes native species?

4
b. Name three characteristics

(adaptations)

that would
enable

a plant, such as privet and kudzu, to take over an
area quickly.

4
c. What color are the privet berries? What type of animal might eat them and disperse them to new locations?




Station
5
: Mosquitofish

5
a. Look at the fish and find a male and a fem
ale. Sketch a picture of each.




5
b. List three similarities and three differences for the male and female mosquitofish.

5
c. Look at the ang
le

of the mouth. How does this help it feed on mosquito larvae?








Station
6
:
Asiatic clam

6
a. The Asiatic clam is considered an invasive species in Alabama.
Look at this tiny one under the scope and
draw a picture of what you see.

6
b. Look at the map of introduced ranges of the Asiatic clam in the U.S.

In what part of the count
ry

is it NOT
found? Why might it not be in
that area
? Give two reasons.

6
c
. Read the following information and describe how the clam is an economic problem.





Female

Male



“In the USA,
C. fluminea

has caused millions of dollars worth of da
mage to intake
pipes used in the power and water industries. Large numbers, either dead or alive,
clog water intake pipes and the cost of removing them is estimated at about a billion
US dollars each year (Anon., 2005). Juvenile
C. fluminea

get carried by water
currents into condensers of electrical generating facilities where they attach
themselves to the walls via byssus threads, growing and ultimately obstructing the
flow of water. Several nuclear reactors have had to be closed down tempo
rarily in the
USA for the removal of
Corbicula
from the cooling systems (Isom, 1986).”










Station
7
: Butterflies


Monarch and swallowtail


7
a. Which specimen is the monarch, A or B?

7b
.
Read the information provided. What color are the adult
male swallowtails?

7c
. What two morphs are present for adult females?

7d
. Where is the dark form more common and why?




A






B



“The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail has a wingspan of 7.9 to 14 centimeters (3 to 5.5

inches). Adult males are
yellow, with
four black "tiger stripes" on each fore wing. The trailing edges of the fore and hind wings are black
with yellow spots. On the inner margin of the hind wing, there are small red and blue spots. On the underside of
the fore wing margin, there is a yellow b
ar that is broken up into spots. This brok
en bar is present in both sexes.

There are two morphs of adult females, a yellow one and a dark one. The yellow morph is similar to the male,
except that the hind wings have an area of blue between the black border

and the main yellow area. In the dark
morph, the yellow is replaced with a dark gray to a black color. A shadow of the "tiger stripes" can still be seen
on the underside of some dark females. The dark form is more common in the southern portions of the ra
nge,
especially in areas also inhabited by the poisonous Pipevine Swallowtail (
Battus philenor
),
which it seems to
mimic
.”







Station
8
: Bald Eagle

8
a.
Look at the graph below. How many breeding bald eagles were in Alabama in the following years?


i. 1977


ii. 1987


iii. 1997


iv. 2007

8
b. Describe in words what has happened to the population of bald eagl
es in Alabama since 1987.

8c. The bald eagle became endangered because of a pesticide called DDT. This pesticide cause the egg shells
of the eagles to be thin and break when they were incubated. The use of DDT has since been banned. Read the
inset word
s on the graph. When was the bald eagle extirpated (completely eliminated) from Alabama?

8d. When was the reintroduction program started?

8e. The bald eagle is an example of a species that has recovered enough to be taken off the endangered species
list
, or delisted. List three other species in Alabama that are still endangered.






Station
9
: Longleaf pine

9
a. Measure and record the length of the longleaf pine needle

and the shortleaf pine needle
.

9
b. How many needles are in a bundle

for each species
?

9
c.
How do the pine cones compare?

9d
. Name two endangered species that live in the longleaf pine forests of Alabama.








Station
10
:
Black widow spider

10a. What distinctive mark does the female black widow have on its abdomen?

10b. Sketch the black widow and the mark.

10b.
What type of toxin does this spider have and how does the bite affect humans?

10c. Where would you be likely to find a black widow?










Station 11: Gopher tortoise

Read the following information
about the gopher tortoise.


Gopher tortoises are known as a
keystone species
.
[20]

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
states the gopher tortoise provides refuge for as many as 350 to 400 species. The burrows are used for feeding,
resting, reproduction, and protection from temperature extremes, moisture loss,

and predators.
[20]

These species
include
gopher frogs

(
Rana capito
), several spe
cies of
snake
, such as the
eastern indigo snake

(
Drymarchon
corais couperi
), small
invertebrates
, and
burrowing owls

(
Athene cunicularia
).
[12]

Therefore, conservation
efforts focused on the gopher tortoise aid these species as well.

Since the longleaf ecosystem is required for the maintenance of the Gopher
tortoise, conservation efforts are
needed to maintain this endangered ecosystem. The longleaf pine ecosystem provides extreme conditions such
as “nutrient” deprived soil and “sandy sites” for gopher’s habitation. It takes 100 to 150 years for longleaf pine

to grow and can live to over 300 years old.
[36]

Conserving these forests would provide the natural habitats
Gopher tortoises need.

Successful reforestation efforts have been ma
de. According to the Environmental Defense Fund’s website,
environmentalists and private land owners are working together to maintain the wildlife habitat while
maintaining crops productivity. Groups provide assistance to private landowners to ensure fundi
ng for
conservation incentives to landowners who are willing to preserve wildlife on their soil.
[37]

Most lands in the
East are privately owned. Landowners used “prescribed burn
s’ to restore favorable habitat conditions.
Prescribed burns managed by the Safe Harbor Agreement benefits U.S. Fish & Wildlife, serve under Federal
Endangered Species Act help reduces and prevents the amount of invasive species that are threatening to the

tortoise; Invasive species such as the (1) cogongrass aka
Imperata cylindrica

and (2)
Fire ants

d
isrupt gopher
tortoise’s habitat and kill tortoise eggs can be controlled. Prescribed fire is one method to provide sufficient
ground for the tortoise and its eggs to survive and maintain biodiversity.
[38]

11a. Because the gopher tortoise is critical to the survival of the longleaf pine ecosystem, it is called a
__________________________ species.

11b.
How many species of animals can use the gopher tortoise burrow as a home? L
ist four examples.

11c. What type of ecosystem is required for the gopher tortoise?

11d. Most lands in the East [U.S.] are _____________________ owned, so incentives are often necessary to
get landowners to protect the wildlife on their soil.

11e. Name
two invasive species that threaten the gopher tortoise.






Station 1
2
:
Largemouth
bass


Look at the graphs below, read the caption and answer the questions.




(A) Plot of ram speed
versus

the accuracy index (
AI
) for largemouth bass (triangles) and
bluegill sunfish (circles).
Note that bluegill were more accurate than largemouth bass but that accuracy did not decrease significantly with
ram speed for either species. (B) Graph of horizontal (black bars) and vertical (gray bars) accuracy for largemouth

bass and bluegill sunfish. Note that bluegill sunfish were significantly more accurate than largemouth bass in the
vertical plane (
P
<0.01) but not the horizontal plane.

(Published by Higham, Day and Wainwright, 2006)


12a.
The “ram speed” is how fast a
fish is moving when it captures its prey. Which is faster overall, the
bluegill sunfish or the largemouth bass?

12b. The scientists measured how accurate these two fish species were at catching fish in a horizontal plane and
a vertical plane. Does the
bass have better accuracy when hunting horizontally or vertically? What about the
sunfish? Which one is more accurate overall?