Scientific field trip lab report: Course:…

Scientific field trip lab report: Course:…

Scientific field trip lab report: 
Course: Ecology. Please an Ecology expert (University) only who knows about data patterns of water chemistry, water depth and species abundances across three mail successional zones at Volo Bog. And how the data can be analyzed, graphed, and used to provide insight into some of the hypotheses for how physical conditions , plant identity, and plant species, diversity changes within the bog.
The topic of field trip lab report is VOLO BOG ANALYSIS. 
Background information about Volo Bog is attached and objectives of the lab. (The methods used in this field trip is written.)
Every little detail of how to write the lab report is attached
All the Data is attached which you would need to analyze (Excel sheet is attached)
How to analyze the data instruction is also attached
Some additional info:
Minimum (6) google or any book SCHOLARLY ECOLOGICAL RELATED SOURCES WHICH RELATES TO THE CONCEPT. (only scholarly sources)

Tell the report as a story (see how to write the lab report document for more details)

keep it brief
Introduction- hypothesis, questions, bigger picture of the lab report
Methods- (1 page max)
Results- Graphs and Statistical test) (Chi Square test)
(detailed instructions are attached in how to write lab report document)

4 Hypothesis (see data analyze document)
I know that the time frame a little short. But I need it by that time. Please do not delay. I have to submit it by that time. I will tip $10 more if the paper is excellent. 

BIOS 331, Spring 2014
Volo Bog State Natural Area
Fieldtrip #3; Saturday, April 5th
The Place:
The following is taken from:
"The current landscape of the northeast corner of Illinois was shaped principally by glacial
activity, particularly when the Wisconsin glacier began its final stages of melting thousands of
years ago. As it receded, it deposited a blanket of unsorted debris, including clay, sand, gravel
and boulders, collectively called glacial till. Embedded in the till were large chunks of ice that
broke off the melting glacier. As the climate continued to warm, the ice blocks melted, forming
depressions which developed into lakes, bogs and marshes.
Volo Bog was originally a deep 50-acre lake, with steep banks and poor drainage. Research on
pollen grains preserved in the bog indicates that the lake began filling with vegetation
approximately 6,000 years ago. A floating mat, consisting primarily of sphagnum moss formed
around the outside edges among the cattails and sedges. As these plants died and decomposed,
the peat mat thickened, forming a support material for rooted plants. Because of the lack of
drainage and the presence of sphagnum moss, the water in the bog became acidic. This limited
the types of plants that could survive and thus created the unique plant communities found in the
Volo Bog is significant in that it exhibits all stages of bog succession. A floating mat of
sphagnum moss, cattails and sedges surrounds an open pool of water in the center of the bog. As
substrate material thickens, a shrub community dominated by poison sumac and leatherleaf
invades the mat. This is eventually replaced by tamarack forest. Surrounding this forest is a
second, more extensive shrub zone which abruptly ends and becomes a marsh/sedge meadow
Each season brings its own beauty and wonder to Volo Bog and seasonal visits allow for
observation of a wide variety of plant and animal life. In the spring, fern fiddleheads reveal their
beautiful fronds. Bog buckbean and leatherleaf bloom in abundance. A great variety of
songbirds, waterfowl and wading birds stop by as they migrate north to their summer nesting
As spring moves into summer, the orchids appear, including the delicate grass pink and rose
pogonia. Great blue and green-backed herons, sandhill cranes, whitetail deer, mink, muskrat,
raccoon and many other smaller creatures are often observed.

Fall is one of the most dramatic seasons and features the gold of the tamarack needles, the red of
poison sumac and the deep green of sphagnum moss.
Winter is a good time to identify trees and shrubs by their bark. The bright red berries of the
winter berry holly and red leaves of the leatherleaf are a striking contrast to the bright whiteness
of the snow-covered ground. Animal tracks in the snow provide evidence of life in the bog deer, muskrat, weasel and red fox who make their homes in the preserve. Periodically, when seed
yield to the north is small, crossbills will visit the bog and can be observed cracking open
tamarack cones."
The Objectives:
To collect data on the habitat heterogeneity created by bogs and the subsequent succession of
vegetation as the bog slowly fills in. We shall examine three zones of vegetation: 1) cattail and
sedge marsh, 2) shrub marsh, and 3) tamarack forest. Each of these marshy habitats will have
varying amounts of open water, tussocks of spaghnum moss, and a diversity of plant species. It
is hypothesized that the spaghnum moss is a keystone species that results in water and soil that is
acidic and low in oxygen. The acidity further depletes nitrogen from the water, peat and soil
through leaching. The acidity and low nitrogen may inhibit and retard succession, or the buildup
of peat and lack of decomposition may facilitate the filling of the pond - which seems to be
going on? As our questions: First, within which ring of vegetation type is spaghnum moss most
abundant?, Second, does plant diversity increase with distance from the open water (vegetation
ring) or with variability in water depth and tussock heights? Third, is the water and soil
uniformly acidic and does the presence of spaghnum, or distance from open water influence pH?
Note that all data collection will occur along transects from the boardwalk that moves
through the bog. Always stay on the boardwalk, and do not trample, collect, or damage
any of the vegetation or moss.
Exercise #1: Measuring water depth and vegetation:
Step 1: You will be assigned a starting vegetation ring (cat-tail marsh, shrub marsh or tamarack
Step 2: Use your tape measure to measure out a 8m (24 foot) transect along the boardwalk.
Step 3: At 33cm (1 foot) intervals (for 25 sampling spots) reach your arm out and hold your
meter stick vertical to the ground. This is your sampling point. Indicate the vegetation at the
point of the meter stick (open water, organic debris, spaghnum moss, grass, cat-tail, sedge, shrub,
Step 4: At the 2m (6 foot) intervals (for 5 sampling spots) measure either the depth of the water
or the height of the mat of vegetation (by aligning two meter sticks one at water surface and one
at mat surface and recording the difference between the two).
Step 5: Repeat Steps 2-4 for a total of 4 transects. This will generate a total of 4 transects x 25
points per transect - 100 vegetation sampling points; and 4 x 5 = 20 height/depth sampling
points per habitat.
Step 6. Repeat steps 1 - 4 for the other two vegetation types.

Exercise #2: Measuring abundance of vegetation, and percent cover of spaghnum moss
and open water.
Step 1: At the edge of the boardwalk, use your meter sticks to make a l m x l m square.
Step 2: Within this square count the number of individuals of each of the different species
(tamarack, ferns, grasses, sedges, reeds, woody shrubs, etc.)
Step 3: Estimate the cover of the spaghnum moss and open water. Do this by scoring a 0 =
none, 1 = 1-25%, 2 = 26-50%, 3 = 51-75%, and 4 = 76-100%
Step 4: Repeat steps 1 - 3 for a total of two 1 x l m squares per habitat
Step 5: Repeat steps 1-4 for the other two vegetation types.
Exercise #3: Water Chemistry:
Step 1: While working from a vegetation type, collect a clean water sample from that zone.
Step 2: Use litmus paper to determine pH.
Step 3: Repeat Steps 1-2 for the other vegetation types for a total of 3 types. As time permits,
collect 1-3 samples per vegetation type.

Before your next lab meeting:
Enter your data into EXCEL spreadsheets (one spreadsheet for each exercise). The spreadsheets
should have the same columns and column headings as the data sheets (also done in EXCEL).
Think about how these data can be analyzed, graphed, and used to provide insight into some of
the hypotheses for how physical conditions, plant identity, and plant species diversity changes
within the bog.

Sample field lab report

Volo Bog Data Analysis; Spring 2014
We collected data on patterns of water chemistry, water depth, and species abundances
across three main successional zones at Volo Bog. We are interested in mechanisms
driving this succession and maintaining these distinct vegetation zones during succession.
The following is a set of guidelines for exploring patterns in the data we collected. Since
this is an observational study, questions concerning mechanisms cannot be directly
addressed with our data. Therefore, you will need to supplement the story your data tells
with a lot of outside research.
I. Water Chemistry: Does spaghnum moss create mildly acidic conditions in the
Hypothesis: The bog should be more acidic than the wetlands, and within the bog the
tamarack and shrubby zones may be more acidic than the open water.
We will use class data for this part. We have data from the pH strips. In class and in
your lab report discuss the basis for the hypothesis. Also, discuss why seasonality and
winter snow conditions and precipitation may alter water pH.
II. Water Depth/ Mat Height: Does the spaghnum moss create mats of peat and
raised areas that support the tamarack and shrubs?
Hypothesis: The shrubby and tamarack zones should have more height and less open
water depth than the open water zone or the wetland.
Use your group’s data for this part. You should have 20 data points per zone you
sampled. Divide the data set up among the four zones. Calculate means and standard
errors. Create a bar graph of water depth/mat height across the four sites. Note that
water depth values should be negative, and mat height values positive. We shall use a
one-way ANOVA with depth/height as the dependent variable and zone as the
independent variable. Report the ANOVA table in your report.
III. Cover by Species and open water: Do the zones vary in their cover of open
water, spaghnum moss, different plant species, etc.?
Hypothesis: The amount of open water, spaghnum moss, and key plant species should
vary with the zones in a characteristic manner.
Again, use your group’s data for this part. For each zone you have 100 sampling points
of vegetation species, spaghnum moss, and open water. Create a table with a column for
the list of species (including open water and spaghnum), a column for each of the four
zones, and then a column that sums up the entries for each row. For each zone (column)
record the number of sampling points that correspond to each “species”. Hence, each
column should sum to 100. Then for each of the four zones sum across the rows giving

the total number of sampling points corresponding to a species or condition. This column
should sum to 400.
For those species/conditions that have a total across all four zones of at least 20, create a
clustered bar graph with the four sites on the x-axis and the number of sampling points on
the y-axis with the different species/conditions as the clustered bars.
Analysis: For those species/conditions (spaghnum and open water as well) with at least
20 total points (summed over all 4 zones) perform a goodness-of-fit chi-square test. You
will complete a separate test on each species/condition. The four zones represent the
categories, and if the species/condition is distributed equally among zones then the
expected occurance will be one fourth of the total observed occurances summed across
all four zones.
IV. Meter-squared sampling quadrats: How does species diversity vary with zone?
Hypothesis: First, does the wetland have a different diversity of plants than the bog?
The specialized adaptations of bog plants and the heterogeneity created by the spaghnum
moss may promote a higher diversity of plants within the bog, particularly in the
tamarack and shrubby zones relative to the open water zone and the wetland.
While these data should be similar to those from the 100 sampling points, point sampling
versus quadrat sampling can yield different information. For the different plants species,
create a clustered bar graph (with error bars) with the four sites on the x-axis and
individuals per m2 on the y-axis. Create a separate clustered bar graph for the cover score
(mean will be between 0-4) of open water, spaghnum moss, and duckweed.
Calculating Diversity for each sampling plot (4 zones x 2 plots per zone = 8)





where pi is the fraction of individuals belonging to species i, and n is the


total number of species.
We will use simpson’s diversity index to estimate diversity in each of your 1 x 1 meter
square plots.
Make a bar graph showing the mean diversity index for each of our zones. While the
sample size of just 2 plots per zone is insufficient for rigorous statistics, you can
comment on whether the trends in diversity between zones are consistent with your

Handout:  Writing “field” and “lab” reports
There are two reasons for asking you to write lab reports: (1) to introduce the concepts, methods,
and approaches used in ecological studies, and (2) to familiarize the student with the analyses and
presentations used in scientific writing. The best way to learn about scientific writing is to do it
using the format of a real journal, in this case Ecology. Check out an issue of Ecology in the library
or electronically.
Writing is difficult. However, following the format used in scientific papers—Title, Abstract,
Introduction, Materials & Methods, Results, Discussion, Literature Cited—will help you clearly
present the necessary information.
Here are some general rules for scientific writing:

Be concise
Write in past tense
Double space lines, use one inch margins, numbered pages and 12 point font.

Title Page: Center and capitalize the title on the title page. Below the title include your name and
institutional address.
The title should clearly, but briefly describe the gist of your message. You should usually include the
species name of the study organism(s) in the title unless a large group of organisms was studied.
Species names should be italicized or underlined, and the genus name should be capitalized while the
species epithet should not, i.e. Sciurus carolinensis. The species name should be written out
completely the first time you state it both in the abstract and in the body of the paper (Sciurus
carolinensis), but after that you should abbreviate the genus (S. carolinensis).
Abstract: The abstract is a very brief summary. It explains why the research was undertaken, what
hypotheses were tested, the methods, results, and major conclusions. Don’t speculate, don’t cite
literature, and don’t make the abstract more than one page long.
The abstract is the only part of your paper many people will ever read, so put your best effort into it.
Write it last after you are perfectly clear about your results and their significance.
Introduction: Start this section on a new page. The rest of the sections should follow immediately
without page breaks, until tables and figures.
The introduction sets the context. In it you explain why the research was done. One way to do this
is to explain why the problem you are interested in is important, how others have tried to solve it
(lots of references!), and how you propose solve it. End the introduction with a paragraph that starts
“The purpose of this research was to….” And then state specific goals or hypotheses.
The hypothesis should state a prediction of the results that is as specific as possible based on what
you know about the experiment. Example:
WRONG: The null hypothesis was the abundance of yellow-legged frogs would not differ between
lakes with fish and lakes from which fish were removed

CORRECT: If predation by fish limits the distribution of yellow-legged frogs, then the removal of
fish should lead to an increase in the abundance of yellow-legged frogs relative to control lakes with
You will want to refer to previous research in the introduction and discussion. The trick is to include
the citations in your writing so that the flow of your sentences is not interrupted. Here are some
McNab (1992) found that energetics in the air-breathing catfish was…. Bats of the Kibale Forest,
Uganda disperse seeds of a variety of species into open fields (Duncan 1994). The restoration of
tropical forest has only been studied by a few researchers (Uhl 1989, Nepstad 1990, Smith 1993).
For papers written by two authors, name both: Malcom and Brower (1989). For papers written by
more than two authors, indicate the first author, followed by “et al.”: Brower et al. (1993).
Materials and Methods: Here you explain how, when, and where. Describe the study site and
procedures, including scientific names of plant and animal species. Describe what you did so that
someone else could repeat your work following only your directions (or directions in papers you
Often this section begins with a description of the field site, proceeds to an explanation of how you
measured or collected samples, and continues with what you took back to the lab and how you
analyzed it there. The section usually ends with an explanation of the statistical methods used, and
the reason for their use. Example: “To compare sun and shade leaves, a Mann-Whitney U test was
used because leaf masses were not normally distributed.”
Results: In the results section state what you found without interpretation. Each paragraph should
begin with a simple declarative sentence giving one conclusion from your data. Describe trends in
your data, point out interesting data, and report the results of statistical tests. Write descriptive and
interesting sentences; don’t just list numbers. Note that “data” is a plural word, and that “datum” is
Be sure to refer to all of your figures and tables in this section. When referring to figures, “figure” is
abbreviated and capitalized (Fig. 1) except at the start of a sentence (Figure 1). The word “table” is
never abbreviated but should be capitalized (Table 1). The results of statistical tests and references
to figures and tables are usually placed in parentheses at the ends of sentences. Here are some
Example 1. The concentration of nitrogen in Rosa multiflora leaves rose 15% along the nitrogen
deposition gradient (Figure 1).
Example 2. Galls were more likely to be found in woods containing hazel and/or beech trees (Table
Example 3. The observed ratio of fruit fly phenotypes in the F2 generation was significantly
different from the expected 9:3:3:1 ratio (?2 = 9.143, d.f. = 3, p<0.025).


Example 4. The feeding rate of group 1 (mean=12 items minute-1, range 8-14 minutes, S.D.=2.1,
n=10 trials) was approximately 50% greater than that of group 2 (mean=8 items minute-1; range 313 minutes, S.D.=1.75; n=10 trials; paired t-test=2.33, p<0.05).
Discussion: Interpret your results and relate them to previous research in the discussion. This is
where the value of having stated specific goals or hypotheses in the introduction should be apparent
to you, because often you can organize the discussion by discussing the support for each hypothesis
in turn. Did your results support or refute your hypotheses? Note that hypotheses can never be
“proven,” but can only be supported or rejected. If you reject your hypothesis, explain why and
suggest a new testable hypothesis based on your results and what you know about the biology. If
your hypothesis was supported, explain the significance of your results using background
information to support your ideas.
End the discussion with a couple of sentences summarizing the key points of your conclusions.
Literature Cited: Follow the style presented in the instruction to authors in Ecology. EXACTLY!
Brett, M. T., and C. Goldman. 1996. A meta-analysis of the freshwater trophic cascade.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 93:7723-7726.
Campbell, B. D., and J. P. Grime. 1992. An experimental test of plant strategy theory. Ecology
Cohen, J. 1977. Statistical power Analysis for the Behavioral Sciences. Academic Press, New York.
Dunham, A., and S. J. Beaupre. 1998. Ecological experiments: scale, phenomenology, mechanism,
and the illusion of generality. Pages 27-49 in W. J. Resetarits Jr., and J. Bernardo, editors.
Experimental Ecology: Issues and Perspectives. Oxford University Press, New York.
Tables and Figures: Each table and figure should be on a separate page. Be sure to clearly label the
units for each axis. Each table or figure should be numbered, and include a brief caption describing
it in complete sentences. For tables include the number of observations in the table. For figures,
state the number of observations each data point is based on in the legend. Table captions go above,
figure captions go under the figure. If you use EXCEL or similar software for generating graphs,
don’t unthinkingly accept the default style: chose line thickness and symbols that are easily visible,
scale axes to display the data most effectively.
If you want more information there are a number of copies of the following short book on reserve in
the Science Library:
Day, R. A. 1979. How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper. ISI Press, Philadelphia, PA. 160 pp.