User:Katelyn R. Porter/Notebook/0710, T4, Plantae and Fungi
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Observing Plantae and Fungi
Purpose: to understand characteristics and diversity of plants and the function and importance of fungi.
First, a leaf litter sample consisting of some dead leaves, plant matter, and soil, was taken from a compost pile within the 20 x 20 meter transect and placed into a plastic bag. Then, a sample of five different plants in the transect was taken. All five of the samples came from within the bed of tomato plants.
The vascularization of mnium moss and the stem of a lily were compared. The moss did not have vascular tissue, while the lily did. Instead, the moss had rhizoids which enable it to obtain its water from surfaces it is attaches to. In the lily, both its phloem and xylem layers were visible in the stem's cross-section under the compound microscope. The phloem layers help the lily transport its nutrients while the xylem helps the lily transport its water as well as provide support. In Figure 1, the blue is the phloem and the pink is the xylem.
Cell differentiation and specialization was observed in moss and lilies. The moss's leaves were not specialized and had smooth surfaces, indicating a waxy cuticle to prevent dryness. The lily leaves contained stomata which allow for gas exchange and water vapor loss, which are controlled by guard cells.
Reproductive components in moss were examined under a compound microscope. In Bryophytes such as moss, the gametophyte (haploid) stage dominates the life cycle while the sporophyte (sporophyte) stage plays a smaller part. This is opposite of the life cycle of angiosperms. The haploid female gametophyte, the archegonium, and the male gametophyte, the antheridum, are represented in Figures 4 and 5.
Figure 5: Female archegonium
Fungi Rhizopus was observed under a dissecting microscope. Rhizopus fungi belongs to the zygomycota division, which includes mostly saprophytic and terrestrial fungi. They use zygospores for sexual reproduction. Ascomycota and Basidiomycota are the other two divisions of fungi. The hyphae were visible as white filaments on agar surface, with visible black sporangia. The sporangia is important because they contain the spores that help the fungus reproduce, which are released when the sporangia open. Figure 6 depicts the Rhizopus fungus.
A Berlese Funnel was set up to observe invertebrates living in the farm transect. 25 ml of a 50:50 ethanol/water solution was poured into a 50 ml tube. A large funnel was obtained and a piece of screening material was placed at the bottom of the funnel. The leaf litter sample previously collected was placed inside of the funnel. The funnel was then set up on a ring stand so that it was held into the tube filled with the ethanol/water solution. The set up was then placed into a glass box with a 40 watt lamp above the funnel and covered with foil.