Sunday, July 27, 2014

Field Zoology Week 2: Stream Ecology

The LECTURE covered various aspects of statistics including 

  • The types of sampling design: random, systematic, stratified random, paired, repeated sampling and the problems with pseudoreplication
  • the difference between fixed and random effects
  • Parametric versus nonparametric and distributions such as Normal and Poisson
  • Problems with standard analysis including spatial and temporal autocorrelation
  • When to use Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) type versus regression type analysis
  • the signal-to-noise ratio analogy and what is the sign (difference between groups or slope) and the noise (points away from the group average or the regression line)
  • what is power
  • what is the deal with p-values

The lecture also covered various aspects of aquatic ecology including 

  • the key differences between aquatic and terrestrial habitats in terms of abiotic conditions (e.g., pH, salinity, O2, flow rates, stream order and so on)
  • the key differences between aquatic and terrestrial habitats in terms of biotic conditions (e.g., what types of organisms are rare or common)
  • the basics of nutrient cycling (CWD, grazers and collectors)
  • zones of riparian habitats 
  • river continuum concept
  • indicator taxa (EPT)

IN THE FIELD, we were hosted by King's College's Dr. Garrett Barr and explored the aquatic organisms of SGL 013. Our stream was a 2nd order stream that fed into Bowman's Creek. 

The day's formal activities consisted of (1) fish-shocking, (2) larval salamander searching, and (3) invertebrate sampling through kick nets (the nets aren't kicked but the substrate is in front of the net to loosen invertebrates into the net waiting for them. Informal activities involved the class searching under rocks and in the leaf litter for salamander and other herps (amphibians and reptiles). 

Jade and Chelsea looking for sallies

Rob netting some shocked fish
Green Frog (Lithobates clamitans)

Mountain Dusky Salamander (Desmognathus ochrophaeus)
Red-spotted Newt (Notophthalmus viridescens)

Slimy Salamander (Plethodon glutinosis)

Spring Salamander (Gyrinophilus porphyriticus

American Toad (Bufo (?) americanus)

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