Monday, November 29, 2010

Hitchiti Experimental Forest

For our lab on November 11th, we went to Hitchiti Experimental Forest in north Macon. We discussed several aspects of the environment in this area and certain species that have an affect on the ecosystem.

Southern Pine Beetle

The Southern Pine Beetle, or Dendroctonus frontalis Zimmermann, is one of the most detrimental creatures to inhabit pine forests in the southern United States. They wipe out an average of 100 million board feet of sawtimber and 20 million cubic feet of growing stock per year.

Leaf Litter Decomposition

Leaf litter decomposition contributes a large portion of the nutrients necessary for a forest ecosystem. Leaves are broken down into organic materials that enrich the soil for plant growth.

Wild Ginger

Wild Ginger Plant, or Asarum canadense, is native to dense forests in eastern North America. It is known for its foliage and has about fifty different species with this genus.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Biome - Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forest

As someone who enjoys the outdoors, I appreciate having such an amazing and diverse biome close-by in the Appalachian Mountains. Backpacking is a favorite hobby of mine, so the temperate broadleaf and mixed forests biome provides great views and challenging hikes.

This biome is classified by four layers of vegetation and a moderate climate that has both a warm and cold season.

Ecological Niche - Alligator

The American Alligator occupies an ecological niche in the southeastern United States. They typically live in freshwater swampland, but occasionally are found in brackish water. They depend on wetlands and prey on small animals and rodents, which makes them a beneficial predator in containing the rodent populations in the areas that it inhabits.

Mitochondrial Eve

Mitochondrial Eve is thought to be the genetic matriarch for all living humans. All mitochondrial DNA (mDNA) in every human today initially came from her. She is the counterpart to Mitochondrial Adam, the patrilineal most recent ancestor. They are believed to have lived thousands of years apart despite these comparisons.