Monday, November 18, 2013

November 18, 2013

Today as we observed the ecosystem we noticed the leaves have completely died and are disintegrating on top of the soil and on the sides of the ecosystem.  We believe the top half of our ecosystem are dying because a few weeks ago our string connecting the plant to the water disintegrated.  There are sill roots connecting down into the water however I do not think the plant was receiving enough nutrients.  Our soil also looks dry so the plant is not receiving nutrients from the soil.  Roots that had been sticking out on the top half of the ecosystem are now withering because they did not find any nutrients.  This also shows that the plant is dying.

Elodea is still alive and thriving.  We think it is still thriving because it has water, nutrients from the water, and sunlight.  Possibly the elodea is still living possibly because it was able to anchor itself into the pebbles creating a stable environment.

There are still baby snails attached to the walls and elodea.  Our first snail looks to be dead however our water is not cloudy allowing the other organisms (elodea and other snails) to still survive.

Condensation changed from primarily one side of the bottle to the entire bottle.  The condensation has also moved down into the lower half of the ecosystem.

After the first week of our observation we never observed the daphnia.  We do not know if they were living in the rocks where we could not see them or if they died.

Some questions we have is the difference between having a closed ecosystem verses putting holes in the top half of the ecosystem for oxygen and another source of energy.  This would be interesting to see the differences.  Another variation we considered was leaving the ecosystem in a bottle outside in the sunlight rather than inside near the window.  Finally, creating ecosystems of different proportions could show students that ecosystems can thrive in any space with the correct sources.

One other variable I was considering how it affected our ecosystem was the seasonal change.  Even though the plant was inside, it still went through a seasonal change with cooler weather, cloudiness, less summer sunlight.

Another variable we may look into is the type of soil we used and how much soil we used.  Our plant died due to lack of nutrients so if we had begun with more soil I am curious if the plant would have thrived for a longer period of time.

I am curious if the elodea will eventually die as well because the ecosystem rotation may fail due to the plant dying, or can the elodea survive off other sources of nutrients.

We can also try using different organisms.  We feel the daphnia was a little useless because we were not able to observe or collect any data.  One organism we feel would be an asset to the ecosystem would be a worm.  It could help fertilize the soil creating more nutrients for the plant which was what we say having trouble surviving.

I think this could be a good activity to bring to the classroom.  It could last for a long period of time and our students would see it on a more daily basis than we were able to here in this class.  It would be a wonderful hands on activity for students learning about ecosystems, organisms, and each role sources play in an ecosystem.

November 11, 2013

This week we continue to see that the top part of the ecosystem is dying. More leaves are starting to decompose and the soil level is lowering. Our group still thinks this is an issue because the string is broken and cannot reach the second half of the ecosystem. Although, the top half hasn't completely died yet and since there is condensation we see that the ecosystem is still in rotation.

The bottom half of the ecosystem is still thriving. We noticed that there is a little bit of browning on part of the elodea, but the majority is still green. There are still snails in the bottom as well, which means that the bottom half of the system is still pretty healthy.  There are still some particles in the water, but it is not very cloudy.

November 4, 2013

Leaves are spotting and browning even more than last time, our string between ecosystems had disintegrated which we believe is why our top half of the ecosystem is dying.  The soil also looks like it is shrinking which is another reason as to why our top half of the ecosystem is dying.  Elodea is still looking healthy.  Baby snails are still attached.  Condensation is still healthy so our system is still in rotation.  Water has particles and there are dead gnats floating on the top of the water.  I am curious as to where these gnats came from since we have a closed ecosystem?

Monday, October 28, 2013

October 28, 2013

Our ecosystem looks like it is starting to die on the top, but still thriving on the bottom. The leaves at the top are more yellow than green. We noticed that our string has disintegrated and is floating at the bottom. Since it is harder to get water to the top of the ecosystem, it is making it harder to get the nutrients from the bottom of the ecosystem. Some are still green and leaves are still growing. On the bottom of our ecosystem life can be seen by the thriving Elodea. Some snails have died, but there are signs of new baby snails. There are also roots starting to stick out heavily on both parts of the ecosystem. One thing that was strange was that there were black particles floating at the top. Since the rope is no longer reaching the bottom of the ecosystem, our group thinks that the top part will soon die off very soon. While the bottom will still be thriving. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

October 14, 2013

After this observation it seems that the top half of our eco-system is slowly dying, while the bottom half still seems to be growing. The soil is still wet which allows new leaves to grow, but they are not as big as the ones from the first days of observations. The old leaves are browning and dying leaving no room for the new leaves to grow, which is why they are growing towards the middle of the stem. It was interesting to see the roots growing from the middle of the stem. We are not too sure why this is happening, but we are thinking it is looking for more nutrients. Both the plant and elodea roots are going down to the bottom anchoring the roots into the gravel. In the bottom half of the bottle we see more growth in the elodea, clear water, and the baby snails still seem to be alive. This shows that this section is still thriving and has more nutrients. Finally, since there is still condensation at the top and water level still seem to be consistent, showing the water cycle is still taking place.

Monday, October 7, 2013

October 7, 2013

-particles in the water
-leaves are browning/withering
-some new leaves forming further down
-can only see 2 snails
-roots extending into water, roots are white
-Elodea is healthy and growing
-heavy condensation
-water is leaking
-Soil still damp
-beans which had fallen are completely disintegrated

Monday, September 30, 2013

September 30, 2013

- Water is not as clear lots of particles floating
- Elodia has grown and looks healthy
- Roots are extending even further into the water
- 1 big snail
- 3 baby snails
- 10 leaves
- Older leaves are turning yellow
- Fallen beans are now decomposing
- No new beans growing
- More condensation
- Soil damp
- Daphia still can not be seen