Southern fox grape vs. water willow

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Southern Fox Grape vs. Water Willow

Ecology project

I. Introduction:

This project is about competition, it is between two plants that grow in the same area. This area is set between an apartment complex and a busy street in the city of Gainesville. In this location the water resources and nutrients may be limited; one thinks that it is possible that both plants that are being studied arecompeting for the resources. By counting the populations of each plant in eight different 1m2 parcels of land. One will find out which is the more dominant plant, the Southern Fox Grape or the Water Willow.

Objectives:
Count and take note of how many Fox Grape plants and Water Willow plants there are in the area.
Take the data, arrange it and use it for the Hypothesis Testing,calculate the t-value and compare to the value from the table.
Figure out which is the dominant plant.

Hypothesis:
Both plants that are being studied are competing for resources so their populations can grow. Since the Water Willow seems a bit more adapted and is found in more places than just Florida, it is probable that the Water Willow population is the dominant one in the area beingstudied.

II. Ecology Section:

The Southern Fox Grape:
It is also known as Scuppernong or Muscadine. This plant is a climbing vine, its edges have large teeth, they have small greenish flowers, and they blossom mostly between March and April.
They are perennials and can be found from the panhandle to the south of Florida. They are native from the U.S. they are from the grape family; with itsgrapes people can make jellies, jams and wine. 1
Its scientific name is: Vitis rotundifolia Michaux

[pic] 1. Southern Fox Grape
The Looseflower Water Willow:
They are perennial herbs; they grow in moist pinelands and woods, also on coastal plains.
They cover areas from the keys to Virginia and a little bit of Texas. They are native plants from the U.S. 2
The Water Willow’s scientific nameis: Justicia ovata

[pic] 2. Water Willow

Both plants are dicotyledons; this means they have two embryonic leaves or cotyledons, unlike other flowering plants which only have one embryonic leaf (monocotyledons).

(A cotyledon is a significant part of the embryo within the seed of a plant. Upon germination, the cotyledon usually becomes the embryonic first leaves of a seedling.)3

Mesichammock or temperate deciduous forest:
It is a climax forest, it has no fire the soil is variable in fertility and moderately wet; here we find a lot of deciduous trees, oaks, sweet gums and hickories, for example.
The usual animals found here are small like squirrels, raccoons, and possums.
The area where the project is conducted also had some pine Flatwoods characteristics, so maybe it was amix between those two ecosystems. 4

[pic] 3. Mesic Hammock

III. Hypothesis Testing:

Hypothesis: there is a competition between Water Willows and Southern Fox Grapes; the Water Willow is the more dominant plant.

To proof the hypothesis one must follow the procedure described below:

- Use a tape measure to enclose a 1m2 piece of land, in the selected area between apartments andthe streets.
- Plant a pencil in each corner of the square. Repeat that in 8 different places.
- Tie the pencils with string to mark the square better.
- Count how many plants of each type there are in each parcel of land.
- Enter all the data into an Excel spreadsheet and calculate the mean, sum of squares, variance and standard deviation for each population.

Raw results:

-The parcels of land were chosen randomly in a big area between houses and the streets, there were plenty of plants and the populations of each species seemed similar.
- The number of Fox Grapes that were in the area was similar in many cases to the number of Water Willows.
- The Fox Grapes had an obvious disadvantage; some of their leaves were apparently a bit eaten, by insects. This may be a...
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