The main different stages of decomposition

For each sample: Pretend you are giving the student feedback on their paper. Write a short paragraph that critique’s the writing – be sure to include two things they did well AND two things you think they could improve upon. Focus on “big picture” comments like overall structure, what is missing what isn’t clear, etc. rather than pointing out grammatical mistakes or bad sentence structure. Then, just for fun, give the student the grade you think they earned on the assignment (A, B, C or D). – Use the information in this powerpoint, as well as the sample published paper for guidance on your critique. STUDENT A Introduction Ecological communities are found everywhere on Earth. They are composed of living species, plants and animals, that interact with each other. The studies of ecological communities have helped scientists and researchers answer questions about the different interactions that occur within them. These interactions include parasitism, predation, commensalism, competition, and mutualism (Nielsen 2014). For example, scientists use this information to find out how trophic levels exchange energy and resources which can help us understand the impacts of species loss on the whole community Ecological communities differ from one another mainly because of the different environmental conditions among them. Some of these factors include temperature/climate, rainfall average, scasonality, and soil type. These factors are what influence the type of organisms the can survive or evolve in each community Rotting logs are a great example of an ecological community that is small enough to be observed and analyzed. It is an excellent environment for small organisms that prefer a damp habitat. Most of these animals are in the consumer and decomposer trophic level including earthworms, bacteria, and fungi. The exchange of energy is efficient in this system because as the log further breaks down and rots, its nutrients are more readily available to be part of food chains and food web.

The insects and flora and fauna of the environment recycle the nutrients and help put them back into the soil (Kindersley 2018). Rotting logs provide countless organisms shelter, protection, and nourishment which is why you can find an entire community within it. The log itself can host a plethora of organisms that play a crucial role in the ecosystem at large. Some of the most common animals that are found in these microhabitats are insects, worms, and mites that act as harvesters, predators, and harvesters. The log as it decomposes can also host different animals and plants at different stages. For example, the damp parts of the log can be the home to spiders and other arthropods, that in turn are part of the food chain for birds that use the log as a perch. The dry parts of the log can be sought out by butterflies or other pollinators in the winter that are crucial to the environment because they help spread pollen to other parts of the forest. The underside of the log can provide a substrate for fungi or other decomposers to latch on, and in giving them a place to grow the fungi can then be part of the food web of the ecosystem as a decomposer and food source to insects, wildlife species, and other mollusks, Growing seedlings can be found in the cracks in a softer log that retains moisture becoming a nursing log that provides nutrients for them Johnston 2016). Not only is the log important as a primary producer but other factors can influence why certain organisms thrive in a rotting log. Some of these factors include sunshine, position. rainfall, leaflitter, and location, Like it was stated before, the area where the log is located can greatly influence the rotting log community and encourage the growth of different populations in it, above it, and below it. In this experiment we examined pine logs in two different areas: hardwood forests and pinewood forests. Hardwood forests are colonized by broadleaf deciduous trees in the east and central areas of the U.S. known as oak-hickories. Since rainfall is not as abundant in these areas as they are in the coasts, they are drought-resistant (Weakley, Noss et al., 2018). We were able to observe more fallen leaves in different stages of decomposition when we were going through the hardwood forest than the pinewood forest. Pines. unlike, hardwoods do not lose their leaves and are in acicular shape called needles. These needles are bunched together in different amounts depending on the specie of the pine tree (Espoc 2018). When we were collecting our samples we observed more pine cones and needles than leaves on the ground. Due to these differences we expect the communities in rotting logs found in pine forests to differ from communities in logs found in hardwood forests. We conducted the following study to test this hypothesis. Student B: Introduction An ecological community consists of assemblages of species interacting with one another as well as with biotic components within their environment, all living within the same habitator in this case, roting trees.

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