Archivos de diario de abril 2021

15 de abril de 2021

Challenge 4 - Home is Where the Habitat is

Each ecosystem is unique, composed of a series of biotic and abiotic components that play a role in the composition of species that call that ecosystem home. The features of these ecosystems are generally dynamic, changing over the course of time, but can be studied to provide insight into what is best suited to live there.

For example, features such as soil composition, tree size, the presence or absence of dead standing trees, the amount of canopy cover, and the underlying topography can indicate the age and stage of succession that a forest is in.

In our fourth Ontario Envirothon Challenge, you are tasked with identifying any wild plant, fungus, or animal that catches your attention. Unlike other challenges, this one does not rely on identifying the species but identifying features of its ecosystem. These components can help paint a grander picture as to why those specific plants, fungi, or animals prefer that habitat.

Questions to ask yourself when collecting observations for this challenge may include:

  • What does the soil feel like? Is it sandy? Loamy?
  • Is the soil compacted, or loose?
  • What does the plant litter look like?
  • Is there a source of water nearby? How large is it?
  • Is this a wetland? If so, what type?
  • What is the topography – is there a hill?
  • Is this a forest? If so, are the trees large, or small? Is there an established shrub and/or ground layer? Is there woody debris on the ground?
  • Is this a location that gets full sun, partial sun, or little to no sun?
  • .... and anything else you view as significant!
If you have issues identifying what you have found, be sure to take multiple pictures of it! That way, others can better assist you in your identification. Here are some resources that may assist in identifying ecosystem features.

This week's challenge has been sponsored by Enbridge and Maple Leaves Forever.

GOALS
Envirothon Teams

As a team, collectively make 10 observations of any wild plant, fungus, or animal. Each observation must have a minimum of 3 notes on features of the habitat or ecosystem that the observation was made in.

Individual Participants
Individually, make 4 observations of any wild plant, fungus, or animal. Each observation must have a minimum of 3 notes on features of the habitat or ecosystem that the observation was made in.

Ingresado el 15 de abril de 2021 por braymade braymade | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

27 de abril de 2021

Challenge 5 - Blooming Buds

Spring is well on its way, with plenty of green things popping up from the ground and starting to unfurl from trees. But, before leaves fill the canopies of our forests again, there are some plants on the forest floor taking in as much sun as possible in the narrow window between the frost abating and the trees above them shading the forests once again. Spring ephemerals are unique flowers found in the early spring, providing some of the earliest food for pollinators in the narrow window they're out in their full glory.

Our fifth and final challenge is optional, as it is not applicable to all of Ontario, and not all of you may have access to a well-established forest where spring ephemerals tend to thrive. Envirothon teams are challenged with finding and identifying 10 spring ephemerals. This can include but is not limited to, trilliums, Trout Lilies, Early Blue Cohosh, Bloodroot, Dutchman's breeches, hepatica, Spring Beauty, and others.

If you are unable to go into a forest that may have ephemerals, you are challenged to find 10 flowering plants. Some things to keep under consideration;

  • No garden plants. Tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, and crocuses are generally cultivated, and thus will not be included in the project.
  • Take 3 photos of every plant you wish to identify. This is to aid in the identification of the plant by other naturalists. Include a photo of the whole plant, the flower or flowering structure, and the leaves if visible.
  • If you are unsure of what you have observed, post it with the broadest category you are confident in. While iNaturalist is good at identifying plants, you should try to determine what the flowers are yourself.
Some resources that may assist you in your flower identification adventures:

This week's challenge has been sponsored by HHH.

GOALS

Envirothon Teams
As a team, collectively make 10 observations of any spring ephemeral or wildflower. Each observation must have 3 notes on why you have identified it as such. Garden plants will not be included

Individual Participants
Individually, make 5 observations of any spring ephemeral or wildflower. Each observation must have 3 notes on why you have identified it as such.

Ingresado el 27 de abril de 2021 por braymade braymade | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

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