13 de mayo de 2014

Treasure Hunt

It took longer than I thought to find the plants people had seen a year ago in March. I ended up giving up on some of them and instead opting for ones I saw. An example of what I mean is that I was looking for red flowering currant, but I could not find it. I think this was because it was removed and replaced with another plant since there has been reconstruction in the same area since then. It was also difficult finding the common vetch near north gate, because it is summer and a lot of areas are drying out. But I ended up finding the common vetch it was by the school of journalism building. I tried finding the muskey stark's bill (215906), the western redbud (220559), and the bur clover (216551) but I did not find them at all. I saw a couple of plants that I hoped were muskey stark's bill and the western redbud, it's just the leaves did not fit the species. I did not see anything like the bur clover, I think it's perhaps further north than Berkeley's north gate. In trying to find these other plants, I came across the little robin, the English plantain, English daisy, and the Indian strawberry. The Nasturtium and the English daisy were the easiest to find since they are very common weeds.

Publicado el 13 de mayo de 2014 a las 11:09 PM por almanzacamille almanzacamille | 7 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

20 de marzo de 2014

Natural History Story (Hottentot-Fig)

Where it comes from & Why it’s here:
C. edulis originally comes from South Africa. It is believed to have been introduced to California in the early twentieth century (D’Antonio et al. 1993) or potentially even as early as the 1500s (BLM 2000). It was intentionally planted in the early 1900s as a means of stabilizing dunes. Because it is popular as an ornamental, it has been planted as a roadside ground cover by the California Department of Transportation (D’Antonio 1990, BLM 2000). It has dispersed from this area by both human and animal means .

C. edulis has spread into native plant communities along the California coastline (some examples of habitats: dunes, grasslands, coastal scrub, bluff scrub, and maritime chaparral (D’Antonio 1990)). In its native range, the flowers are pollinated by bees and many beetle species. Its fruits are eaten by baboons, rodents, porcupines, antelopes and people, who end up scattering the seeds (Malan & Notten 2006). Puff-adders and other snakes are often found in C. edulis clumps where they ambush the small rodents that are attracted by the fruits. The clumps also provide shelter for snails, lizards and skunks.

Conservation Status & Environmental Impact:
C. edulis is threatening the survival of other species (not including it's natural habitat: South Africa). C. edulis has been classified as an A-1 level exotic plant in the California Exotic Pest Plant Council’s (CalEPPC) list of exotic plant pests of greatest ecological concern. An A-1 plant is categorized as a plant that is the most widespread and invasive wildland pest plant (California Exotic Pest Plant Council 1999). It can out-compete native species for water, space, and nutrients. In California, it has naturalized and is invading coastal vegetation from north of Eureka to Rosarita Bay. It also has invaded the west coast of Australia from Perth to Albany. And, it is known as the highway ice plant in the USA.
C. edulis creates changes in the micro-climate and disturbance regimes of some communities, effectively excluding some native species with specific climatic and disturbance cycle requirements (Mack and D’Antonio 1998, California Native Plant Society 1999). Once it becomes established, it has a high vegetative reproductive rate, and its growth doesn't seem to be affected by herbivores or competition (D’Antonio 1993; Campelo et al. 1999). C. edulis has also has been known to invade new areas following fire events in California (Zedler and Scheid 1988; D'Antonio et al. 1993).

What a great invasion, little pest plant!


Publicado el 20 de marzo de 2014 a las 06:22 AM por almanzacamille almanzacamille | 1 observación | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

19 de marzo de 2014

Characters and Traits

I biked down to the Berkeley Marina, and succeeded in some ways in taking close pictures of organisms. It was hard to take pictures of some really close pictures, like the ground squirrel, kind of the seagull, and the fairly large bird (3 feet tall) eating something in the green pasture. Plants were easy to take a picture of, because they don't fly or scurry away.
Onto some of the characters I focused on: first, the purple flowering plant had fleshy stems, several thin light purple petals, the biggest flower I saw was 4 inches in diameter. I usually don't see a flower with a fleshy stem, I'm wondering if it's a succulent? I also saw a small animal scurrying about and going into holes in the ground. I immediately thought ground hog. But when I looked at it closer, it had a rather skinny tail, has a light brown color with whitish spots (to camouflage itself with the soil I think). I was confused and thought it must be a squirrel that happened to hide itself in it's hole. But so many of these critters kept going in and out of these holes that seemed to pop out of everywhere. Then it made sense, it was a critter I didn't know of. Props to John8 for identifying it. the California ground squirrels I saw were like 9 inches lengthwise. In an initial attempt to take a picture of a seagull (I succeeded the second time, but I happened to be lucky that someone was feeding them to take a close picture), I saw a small 1 inch bivalves in the marina bay. It had several creases, it's white for the most part, it had slight brownish coloring to it. Another character I saw was a purple plant growing on a rock, it was wet and slimy, it was about 5 inches long across. I kind of thought it was related to seaweed or lichen?

Publicado el 19 de marzo de 2014 a las 06:11 AM por almanzacamille almanzacamille | 10 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

05 de marzo de 2014

Habitat Trips

I was unable to upload all photos on time. Will be uploaded once able to It's both because of internet issues and because of inaturalist not allowing me to upload for technical reasons.

Species found in Moist Evergreen Forest:

  1. Lichen exists through mutualism between fungi and photobionts. This relationship allows each to tolerate harsh conditions where neither could survive alone. In this partnership, the fungus provides the alga with water, prevents overexposure to sunlight, and provides simple mineral nutrients, in return the photosynthesizing alga supplies food to the fungus even if no other organic material is available.
  2. The Ivy I found was on the ground. It has adapted by spreading across the ground for nutrients. Ivy releases a sticky substance, and adhering discs have develop on it's stem, so the ivy is thoroughly attached to the surface.
    To pick up nutrients, ivy spreads across a large area of ground for surface nutrients, rather than using the soil nutrients from one particular location. It does not have to share the soil space with other plants because as it spreads, ivy takes over the space of other plants. These plants are forced to struggle for nutrients and eventually die off, leaving the ivy with all the soil space it needs. Ivy is evil.

  3. Violet ground flowers. I don't know very much about this plant or what particular species it is. I can assume like some succulents that are purple, it's to protect itself from too much sun, which could also help explain why it lives in the moist evergreen forest floor. Or the color could give off signals that attract birds and bees to pollinate it.
  4. French Broom. Tolerant of summer drought and low-nutrient soils, it can invade a wide range of habitats. It can tolerate up to 80% shade, which grants it the ability to continue to live in Moist evergreen forest when it is more commonly found in biomes such as mixed evergreen forests and chaparral.
  5. Bermuda Buttercup. I think the Bermuda Buttercup and the ivy are able to live in this biome because the forests' canopy is thin, which lets more light and heat to go through, allowing photosynthesis on the ground floor. Also, bermuda buttercup is a weed like french broom and ivy that allows it to grow almost anywhere sun is around.

The plants that live in the Chaparral tend to be oaks, pines and mahoganies, and brush such as narrow leaf golden brush. These plants have adapted to the Chaparral biome because of the climate and all the room they have to grow. I can't name tree species too well, I just know they were all different.
Species found in Chaparral:

  1. Tree with green wood. I don't know about the green base, perhaps because like other plants that have green stems, it supplies effective transport of water to it's leaves in and that's why it continues to live in an area that is mostly warm.
  2. Whitish Tree shedding in strips. Potentially a drought avoiding plant because it dropped it's leaves, and drought avoiding plants in chaparral do this when the weather gets too hot, it's to avoid excessive evaporation.
  3. Cacti. I am unsure whether it was owned by someone or not. There were several of them and other succulents, it just had barbed wire around it. The spikes in cacti are to protect itself from predators during the day, especially because it was high up on the hill and predators could otherwise easily eat it without the spikes. It was fairly large in size and round.
  4. Tree? Shrub? with tiny red fruit. I think it's a drought tolerator mostly because I am around a plant exactly like this one and it only gets water when it rains. These plants also have small, leathery leaves to reduce water loss.
  5. Tree with pointy leaves. There wasn't anything particular that stood out besides the shape of the leaves. Possibly leaves with 'toothed' edges help trees, shrubs, and other plants cope with the cold in the bay area, which is in contrast to the usual chaparral climate. This tree had long one tooth leaves. The loss of water could help pull more sap from the roots, and delivering nutrients to the developing leaves, to ultimately help start their photosynthesis (Royer, now an assistant professor of earth and environmental sciences at Wesleyan University).
Publicado el 05 de marzo de 2014 a las 07:38 AM por almanzacamille almanzacamille | 10 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

14 de febrero de 2014

Phenology Exercise

Most of my findings come walking along the Strawberry Creek. I found the Common Dandelion among lawn. The Dandelion falls under Flowers Phenology, it is flowering because you can see the small yellow flower is blooming or showing in the picture.

The Geranium plant was found growing within rocks above the Strawberry Creek. The Geranium falls under Flowers Phenology, it is bare because geraniums have flowers that tend to bloom in either Summer or Fall, not in Spring.

I went further uphill in Tilden and by botanical gardens to hopefully find true naturalized trees. I am still unsure if the pine tree is 100% naturalized or if it was planted. The pine tree falls under Leaf Phenology, it is leafed out because there are small pine cones growing from it and it has green pine needles still on the tree as well.

For Aspen's Leaf Phenology, it is dormant because it is still winter for it and there are no leaves growing from it. Aspen blooms in March/April.

Publicado el 14 de febrero de 2014 a las 06:17 AM por almanzacamille almanzacamille | 4 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

Tree of Life Exercise

My hike was just along my common route to and from class. Among my "backyard" I came across a common earthworm, which falls under the category of animals since it is not an insect. I also saw a garden snail by our kale, it falls under the mollusk taxa. I also found a strange creature laying underneath a black film (for preventing weeds to grow), I thought it might have been some type of worm, and I proceeded to touch it with a stick to see how it would react first. Then I touched it with my hands and it was scaly. I thought it was a snake because I didn't really see it's legs, but later on when I looked at the picture it ended up being a salamander, which falls under the reptile taxa.
Then I went to Campus and took a picture of UC Berkeley's famous squirrels, which is a mammal under the tree of life. After class I went to a residential area and found what I'm pretty sure was a wild turkey (falls under the bird taxa), I didn't see an owner nearby and when I searched up if it's common to see wild turkeys in Berkeley, I found funny Berkeley articles on the news' site Berkeleyside saying it is.

Publicado el 14 de febrero de 2014 a las 04:41 AM por almanzacamille almanzacamille | 5 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

31 de enero de 2014

Geo-171-2014 Homework #2

The first observation is of moss, which falls under the iconic taxa of plants. It was growing on near the roots of a tree, none of it was growing on the grass.

The mushroom that I saw falls under Fungi. I found it growing in a fairly shady area by a tree.

The third observation might be a Dark-eyed Junco, it falls under the taxa of birds. It was located by McCone at the time.

Publicado el 31 de enero de 2014 a las 03:39 AM por almanzacamille almanzacamille | 3 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario