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Species at the Small Nature Trail - Essay Example

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Running head: INTERATION BETWEEN SPECIES AT THE SMALL NATURE TRAIL Interaction between Species at the Small Nature Trail Student’s First name, Middle initial and Last name Name of University Course Name and Number August 25, 2011 As part of my field trip to a local green space, I decided to visit the Small Nature Trail, located in Harvard, Massachusetts…
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Download file to see previous pages The Small Nature Trail is not named so because of its size, but rather it is named after Lawrence Small, who owned the land before it was acquired by the school. The trail loops through woods and wetlands and offers many opportunities to observe diverse plant and animal interactions in their natural surroundings. The Harvard Trails Guide released by the Harvard Conservation Trust (n.d.) mentions that, “the black birch which, when scratched, smells like root beer; spice bush, which also emits a ‘spicy’ odor; sassafras, with its three different leaf shapes; and the shagbark hickory, with its distinctive or exfoliating bark.” I was able to identify and examine these trees myself during the hour and a half long trail walk. There were also boardwalks and bridges that cover the wet areas of the trail. A little while into my trail walk, I began to examine the ground where I was walking more closely. Soon, I noticed red ants moving rather quickly in their line. They were carrying a dead beetle to their nest. As I looked closely, I noticed that the larger worker ants were carrying the beetle while the smaller worker ants assisted the larger ones and went up and down the line formation, trying to get the dead beetle to their nest. ...
Once the beetle was taken into the hole, the activity above the ground reduced as most of the ants accompanied their food into hole. After watching their activity for a while, I went back to the trail to continue my exploration. As I walked along the trail, I noticed bracket fungi growing on several trees like the poplar and maple trees. They were easy to identify as they had the characteristic semi-circular shape, which looks like shelving growing out of the trees. In fact, throughout my trail walk, I found several bracket fungi growing on trees and tree stumps. When I touched them, they felt soft and squishy. Bracket fungi are known to derive their nourishment from their host – the trees. I plucked out a piece of the fungi from a tree trunk and found some small root-like structures extending into the tree. Therefore, I believe that the bracket fungi that I saw were parasitic. The walk on the boardwalk was a wonderful experience as there was thick foliage on both sides and one cannot see too far since the path twists and turns through the foliage. As I got off the board walk, I saw several different kinds of plants which had flowers of different colors. That is when I noticed some butterflies fluttering around these flowers. As I took some time to observe this insect-plant interaction, I realized that the butterflies was not only drinking the nectar from the flowers, but were also helping the plants in pollination - something that I had studied in my school, but never really taken the time to notice in nature. I spent a considerable amount of time observing these butterflies. After spending some time with the butterflies, I resumed my walk. As I approached the wet area of the trail, I noticed some turtles basking in the sun. I ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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