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January 15, 2016: Exploring a Transect at AU

Purpose The purpose of this lab was to observe a niche on the American University campus, analyzing its abiotic and biotic factors. In order to study evolution and environment, a 20x20 outdoor area was used as an example. It is likely that there were more abiotic factors than there were biotic factors.

Materials and Methods Materials: -pencil -paper -plastic bag -20x20 outside area labeled with sticks -method of photography (cell phone) Methods: -First, the group found its location on the American University campus. The section used for this data was section 4. -After acknowledging the area, an aerial diagram of the 20x20 space was drawn using pencil and paper. -Following the drawing, the group filled their plastic bag with abiotic and biotic factors.

Data and Observations Image:FullSizeRender.jpg This is an aerial diagram drawn with pencil. On the diagram, the directions (N,E,S,W) can be shown as well as rocks, benches, plants, and a body of water.

Besides the aerial diagram, pictures of the area were taken with a cell phone. They show the factors described previously. The transect also had a water drain, acorns on the ground, a net that covered the water, and rocks that lead a pathway throughout the whole transect. Much of the soil was moist and about half of the trees had no leaves. Image:IMG_1049.JPG Image:IMG_1044.JPG Image:IMG_1047.JPG Image:IMG_1050.JPG

Conclusions and Future Directions Within this transect, there were many biotic and abiotic factors found. Abiotic components included soil, rocks, water, sticks, air, and sunlight. Biotic factors included bushes, flowers, trees, leaves, moss (in the water), bamboo (on the water net), grass, acorns, and squirrels (though these were not seen, there was evidence of them). In contrast with the hypothesis, more biotic factors were measured than abiotic factors. This could be because there were actually more biotic components in the area or simply that not enough abiotic components were measured. Next time, more background on abiotic factors should be researched so that more accurate data can be taken.


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