Saturday, November 10, 2007

Ecology students at Kent Ridge

Sometime back, we had ecology field trips to different parts of Kent Ridge. The first trip was at the plot of degraded secondary forest (Adinandra belukar)

Each group were to conduct a vegetative analysis on one of the forest plot. We did that by setting up circular plot technique where we divide the circle into four quadrats. Then we measure the different biotic and abiotic parameters within each quadrat of our circular plot.

Briefing in process.

Moult at the underside of leaf.

We noticed a couple of common plant species within our plot, this one belongs to Simpoh air (Dillenia suffruticosa).

And tiup tiup (Adinandra dumosa). This is the tree that gives adinandra belukar their name.

In degraded soils, nutrients are easily leached and in pitcher plants compensate by being carnivorous in nature.

As shared previously, these tiny pitchers that can be found among grasses are hard to spot and they are amazing.

Our TA Stanley opened this fig, as requested by a curious classmate. More about figs here and also at Siva's blog.

After that session of doing the vegetative analysis, we all headed back home to start working on our report where we had to propose the most appropriate alternate spot for the relocation of a pump house in one of the forest patch. That was not an easy task but it was a good experience.

The second trip out again to Kent Ridge is not within the campus but to Kent Ridge Park, this time to study community ecology of web building spiders.

While walking downslope from our dropoff point towards South Buona Vista Road,

I saw this very nice seaview.

Our spider of interest is this Tetragnathidae Big-Jawed spider. This is a page of the book, A guide to common singapore spiders, as brought by our TA.

And we had to find these spider webs that are almost invisible to spot to study if there are any relationship between the size of web and the rate of prey capture over several hours. Here we have Yishan in action.

Opps, this is not exactly the spider we were looking for, but it does look impressive right. Id-wise, haha no idea.

And here is a shot of Tetragnathidae Big-Jawed spider and its web. Photographing spider and its web is not easy and glad this one turned out okay. The small centre portion where the spider is residing is called the hub and the surrounding space with no web is the free area. The parts of web that cuts perpendicularly are the radial webs and the majority of the webs are in spirals.

Another photo of the spider and its web.

Close up shot of this beautiful spider.

Interestingly, we witnessed how spiders capture their prey by wrapping them with their web. Also we also saw webs that were destroyed by falling twigs or leaves and rebuilt in half an hour.

This is a photo of us under a bus stop preparing and doing our report on the spot.

That marks the end of our ecology field trip adventures. Sad but hopefully, more of such next year as I proceed to year 4. Looking forward.

Would like to also take this opportunity to thank my TA, Stanley for being such a great TA. Also thank all my peers for making all trips an enjoyable and fruiful one, where we learnt more, not just about each organism, but also in a greater scale, about the ecology of each habitat.

1 comment:

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