, Research Paper
A Comparison of Organisms in Different Microhabitats
Meeker High School, Meeker, CO 81641
Abstract: On September 12 we started a long-term study of the foothills zone north of the Meeker High School. We evaluated the different organisms in different microhabitats, and studied to see if the habitats were significantly different. Our conclusion was that there was not a significant difference between the different habitats.
September 12, 2000 and several other mornings in September we ventured out to the North Ridge, north of Meeker High School. We asked what organisms lived in the different microhabitats and if the habitats differed in species composition. Our hypothesis was that there would be a difference between habitats. The previous study on this area was the study that we did on the vegetation cover of the east and the west slopes of the North Ridge. In this study we found that there is more vegetation cover on the west slope of the North ridge than on the east slope. In the present study we evaluated five different habitats: sage, oak, pinyon juniper, creek, and disturbed habitats. The sage habitat has a lot of bushes and sage growing in it. The oak has some signs of deer and includes many plants. The pinyon juniper habitat includes signs of mule deer and various kinds of bushes. The creek area includes signs of different animals such as mule deer, cottontail rabbits and red fox. This area also contains different types of bushes and sage. The last area is the disturbed, which has a few different types of grasses and plants but does not have any sign of animals that we could find. This study could be of use to acologists engaged in future research. Also, it could come of use to hunters who want to know where to find different animals that they are hunting.
In our study, five groups split up into the different habitats, and each identified and collected many plants and bugs from the field. In doing this we used various tools such as the bug sucker a net and other tools. The bug sucker was used to collect small insects. The nets were used to catch various types of flying bugs. After collecting our information the five groups collaborated on the different information from the different habbitats. To identify different bugs, birds and plants we used the Field Guide to Western Birds, by Roger Tory Peterson and Meet the Natives, by M. Walter Pesman.
Results and Discussions
The tables attached show the information that we collected in the field and the differences between the five habitats. We used statistical analysis to find the P value of the plant distribution. We found p equals .048 or 48 out of 1000 chances that plant distribution is different between microhabitats.
Our data and analysis of the different microhabitats show that there is not a significant differance in plant communities between the habitats of the North Ridge. Also, this conclusion shows that in our previous study of the North Ridge’s vegetation cover could be because of the different soil moisture. For example the side of the North Ridge with more moisture would have more vegetation then the side with less soil moisture.
Acknowledgments: Meeker School District RE-1 provided facilities and equipment for our study. Mr. Jim Dodo and Mr. Mark Sheridan nicely allowed us access to their property.
Roger Tory Peterson. Field Guide to Western Birds.
M. Walter Pesman. Meet the Natives.