2/4/15 Project Decision Day!

The general idea for today was to work through projects 1 by 1 with our “rebuttals” design updates/ comment adjustment then we vote!

Group Re-Presentations (Brief Summaries)

Galls and Fungi:
issue- hypothesis needed to be more concrete
(biodiversity, autoclaving…)
big picture topics- temporary pulses, ephemeral food source for species, gall reduces decomp (reference from uofm), tannins shown as mechanism of decomp inhibition, nutrient cycling may be an implication of this slower release. fungi and soil chemistry- take up things in the environment
*VALLEY OAK APPLE GALLS*
-nutrient analysis of gall tissue/ soil analysis to hone in on nutrient cycling aspect
-could they just decompose the tannins vs just bringing them up the food chain
-proximity to river… hold tree gall density relatively similar for experiment replicates
site consideration: one has info gather but one is more natural and more moist (will it have enough replicates)
-are the conditions alright for the mushrooms to survive
-90+ mushrooms so sampling time constraints once looking for bugs, process-
set out mushrooms, rear, assess bugs that come out (to see biodiversity)
 
Galls and Plants:
extensive list of questions answered- will upload to the blog
simplified the methods, expect the presence of galls hinders plant growth and diversity
no more insect aspect, four treatments: control- what is presence, galls just there; add galls; remove galls; trees with no galls in the first place
adding galls= to show if physical presence affects growth rate/abundance
removing galls= relief of physical pressure (chemical presence likely still there)
beef up the measurements by implanting seeds of plants that likely could grow under oak as a baseline comparison of growth within this experiment, initial site study useful to set the parameters
 
Mistletoe:
cut to 120 replicates to increase feasibility
yellow spots maybe not ovaposition so sort of get around that, still want to know what soapberry bugs are doing on male mistletoe. still look at the yellow spots but in correlation not necessarily due to soapberry bugs. could we find out what it is? (a mini experiment within)
cut costs by ID fungus with an expert (vs DNA kits) though 200$ so not a huge cost we decide to allocate
shape measurement- cylinder/sphere area estimate and proxy
expect mold and # bugs to be inversely related, #fruit/pollen and # bugs positively related
— insects benefit plant via mold reduction and maybe get a reward of pollen
—— interesting discoveries because bugs aren’t eaten by birds so why symbiosis?
————– ideally will parse out a relationship between these observed phenom
could put the bugs in different conditions, diff sexes, fungi/no fungi etc. and observe if they persist
pilot studies to nail down the observations and formulate our experiment
we are in the fruiting season now!! great!
Vernal Pools:
now its a field experiment, so long as well are ok with the travel
add a hydrological gradient, use the predawn machine?? test within same pools to try to hold relative conditions the same, exclusions possible.
no need to go through turf explanations, not part of the experiment anymore
we have seen data to support grazing improving viability of natives, we have also seen inundation to do the same, but this proposal would combine them in a way and look quantitatively at the competitive effects of invasives on natives at a range of inundation periods.
questions on the methods, one pool in concentric transects with each of the treatments
can we combine weeding and grazing?
ID-ing species, rely on the experts and use key-ing
GROUP DISCUSSION
  • can we group the galls? both look at potential effects of decomposition on galls
    • growing things to introduce may not phenologically be possible
    • if we want to look at fitness from start, short lifespan
    • understory plant/below ground interactions//linkage
    • tannins from teas
    • “bottom up effects of gall tannins in above and belowground food webs” working title. thanks kate!

VOTE ….Galls and fungi won!

IMG_4193 vintagemushrooms T

snacks and bubbly to celebrate!

WHAT TO DO NEXT:
  • make essential reading folder in dropbox (sonja)
  • contact M. Davis for compost (possibly pick up the goods)
  • group visit to the site (and if other sites, lets visit)
  • pilot set up of mushrooms for the site ASAP
    • set out sunday, re-collect on monday or tuesday (if storm)
    • by no galls, by many galls
  • fences/chicken wire cages
  • what can we do about tannin content in soil (Douglas Adams as a resource)
 
Sunday Set Up!
drivers: sunday at 10 am sonja (5), kate (5), kara (5) meet at the back of storer in the parking lot
materials: mushroom, quadrats, flags, covers?, datasheets
data sheet: # mushroom, location, description of the shrooms
 
recon-
Monday: bonnie, viri, brendan
Tuesday: TBD
Wednesday: Sonja and alec to collect!
Schedule for next class:

2:10- 2:30  field notes from today

2:30- 3:30 Review Research Proposal

whats our question, do our methods address this, critical research needs for the week (delve  into lit review organization

research question critical review

-take apart…what are we worried about?

set up structure for reading organization to discuss

if there are crucial and immediate papers we can delve in

“burning questions”

3:30-4:00 reading organization

google doc for paper, who read, take home message, tags for relation (key words)

general organization

4:00-5:00 Tom Gordon   (what are our big questions, sub questions, methods- where we can get advice)

Now we have the google docs up and running and we can really get started on the project! Happy weekend full of gall and fungi exploration!

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