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Lab Synthesis Essay

In our ecocolumn many changes occurred over the several week course we were observing and collecting data on the three chambers. Aquatic and Decomposition quickly turned septic while terrestrial experienced plant growth. Overall the health of the ecosystem was very poor due to the severe changes in the aquatic chamber. Terrestrial In the Terrestrial camber of our ecocolumn, several changes happened over time. The clover seeds planted at the beginning had a rapid growth rate. At one point our chamber had a couple dozen emerging plants, yet majority died from inconsistent watering and sunlight.

At the end of the experiment, the only surviving plants were all on one side, due to sunlight exposure, and the plants were very small, due to the inconsistent watering schedule. The Clover plants help the health of the ecosystem by playing a predominant role in the habitat of the terrestrial chamber, it could be the possible food source of the gnats, and helps keep the ecosystems health at Another change in the Terrestrial chamber was the appearance of gnats. When the eco column was assembled there was no gnats purposely placed in the chamber.

Yet, after a few weeks of letting the ecocolumn mature, there was a high Gnat population throughout Terrestrial Chamber. The Gnats play a role in the health of the ecosystems by playing a part of the food chain through the entire ecocolumn. Decomposition In the Decomposition Chamber of our ecocolumn, there were some major changes in the decomposition of materials, quality of the soil, and plant growth. We placed in our the Decomposition chamber 1 half eaten apple, 3 dead fish and one flower to watch decompose.

Each showed large amounts of bacteria and mold growth exponentially through the time our ecosystem was occurring. At the end, the flower was completely decomposed and absorbed by the dirt, the apple had considerably shrunk and lost most of its nutrients to the bacteria and mold, causing the apple to change colors and collapse in on itself, and the three dead fish carcasses were almost completely decomposed with only a faint outline of the fins and facial structure bones. The decomposition of their materials helped the health of the ecocolumn by playing a role in the ecosystems unique food chain.

The decomposing materials fed countless organisms, like bacteria, mold, and the worms in the chamber. The Quality of the soil changed as well. The original soil was taken directly from the outside ecosystem. Yet at the end of the experiment, the decomposition factor and numerous water transfers caused the humid environment of the chamber to turn the once fresh soil into hard, moist, lumped together mounds of soil rich in bacteria and microorganisms. Which benefit the ecosystem as a whole by making the decomposition happen faster along with giving food and a place of shelter for the worms living in that chamber.

There was also a minute amount of plant growth as well, giving more nutrients to the soil while helping with the overall health of the ecosystem. Aquatic In the Aquatic chamber of the ecocolumn, the changes in the quality of the water, dead fish, scum, and bacterial growth played a role in the changing ecosystem. The quality of the water went exponentially down hill from the second the fish were placed in the tank. 17 alive goldfish were placed in the aquatic chamber.

With not enough dissolved oxygen (On October 7th, it reached 0 PPM) and no way to make more until the bacteria began to reproduced to the level to generate O2 (November 17th, went up to 3 PPM) all the fish died. Another factor in their deaths was also not having any food source, the fish all died in a matter of hours. The fish quickly used up all the available dissolved oxygen, harming the overall health of the ecosystem. The dead fish also played a role in harming the eco column’s health by causing the aquatic chaber to go septic and cause a huge boom of bacteria growth.

The water quality was also affected by the decomposition of the fishes bodies. After around a week from the start, the dead fish began to pop letting out multiple unhealthy gases and bacteria, then floating to the bottom to began to decompose. Which caused the water to turn a dark yellow/orange color, and then actually become more clear from the help of the bacteria eating and using some of the available bacteria from the decomposing fish carcases. Near the end of the experiment, large clear tendrils of scum began to float throughout the aquatic chamber.

The scum could be linked to fish skin? I’ll find research) The scum (How did it help ecosystems health? ). There were changes in color in the decomposition chamber and aquatic chamber. The changes in the decomposition chamber happened in the color of the soil and the changes in the color of the decomposing apple. The soil began as a health dark brown with flecks of white nutrients and parts of roots and leaves but at the end of the experiment the dirt was a dark brown/black with clumps of black mush mixed in.

This could be attributed to the numerous waterings and the decomposition of materials. The change of the apple’s color, is due to the several stages of decomposition. The apple at the beginning was red with a while center, but as soon as the decomposition began, the apple skin turned a darker red/purple and the core of the apple turned brown. The mold that grew on the apple was a bright white color but after some time, the white began to get flecks of brown and green moss and mold mixed in.

The change in the aquatic color changes from clear to dark yellow to a lighter yellow can be linked to the fish. The fish’s death and rotting bodies caused the water to turn a deep sickly yellow color. Yet, the fishes decomposing bodies cause a boom of bacterial and zooplankton growth in the aquatic chamber. The resulting zooplankton and other microorganisms population growth helped the water quality because the zooplankton and microorganisms began to feed on the bacteria that had caused the deep yellow color.

As the microorganisms fed on the bacteria the water quality and color quickly became more clear. In our ecocolumn, there were some very distinct forms of succession taking place throughout the experiment. In our aquatic chamber, the first step of succession was the placing of 17 alive goldfish. After the fish were placed in the water supplied by Petco, over a period of about 24 hours they had successfully depleted the water of all of the dissolved oxygen and one by one, the goldfish perished.

This was followed by a few days where the water was too polluted by a phlegm like substance to even be able to see through the bottle, the fish that had remained on the surface of the water being held up by the gasses that remained inside of their corpses, had begun to grow mold on the areas exposed to oxygen, and the smell inside of aquatic chamber can only be from deep within the chambers of hell, it is by far the worst thing any living creature has ever had to endure through its nostrils.

Then, after the fish had been dead for at least a week, the water begins to clear, none of the fish remain on the pale orange surface of the water, and the smell is only becoming worse. Now, the bacteria play a far more important role in the grand scheme of things, they have now made significant and notable differences to both the look of the water, and the stench of the water. After the bacteria population boomed because of the sudden increase in food, and no predatory challenge to trim their population, they increased in numbers almost exponentially.

This made the water almost completely transparent, it still of course had an awful dark brown/orange color, and fish corpses littering the bottom of the two liter bottle. In conclusion, it is quite clear that there was a very prominent form of succession in our ecocolumn. While the experiment was going on, it would be hard to tell how much each ecocolumn was affected another, but it is quite clear that they did. While the ecocolumn would sit in the sun for hours upon hours at a time, the water that has been collected in the aquatic chamber would evaporate, and the moisture would go up into the other chambers.

The evaporation affected the decomposition chamber much more than the terrestrial chamber, since most of the water was collected in the decomp. chamber, it allowed for it to be a humid environment, increasing the speed of the decomposition of our apple. But what little moisture did make it up into the terrestrial chamber provided some water to help grow mushrooms and grass inside of the chamber, which allowed our very un-intended fruit fly population to grow quite rapidly.

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