Last Thursday we had a very fun lab in our Biology Honors class. It wasn’t technically a lab, but we got to walk around campus and explore the bellarmine campus. I learned a lot about the plants and animals all around campus.
I used my iphone to take pictures all around campus.
Here are my findings.
Producer – Lettuce (Lactuca sativa)
Lettuce is generally found as a garden plant across homes so it is no surprise that we grow it in the Bellarmine garden. Lettuce is commonly used in different types of food and it is found in gardens all over the world. It originated from Asia minor.
Primary Consumer – Chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus)
Chickens can be found in both the wild and in farms. Chickens can commonly be found on farms in a coop and are usually domesticated for their eggs. Eggs and chickens are also food that a lot of humans eat too. Wild chickens are usually found near shrubs and eat grasses and seed sand lots of different insects. They usually sleep in lower tree branches and eat near the shrubs. They can be found in the Bellarmine Garden.
Secondary Consumer – Spotted Gecko (Eublepharis macularius)
The Spotted Gecko usually live in the dry deserts and grasslands of south-Asian Afghanistan, Pakistan, north-west India, and some parts of Iran. As with most lizards they live in a dry arid environment. The Spotted Geckos can eat Crickets and since Crickets eat smaller insects, the Spotted Gecko is a secondary consumer. The Spotted Gecko can be found in Mr. Wong’s classroom.
Tertiary Consumer – Humans(Homo Sapiens)
One huge part of the bellarmine ecosystem are humans. Humans can be found all around the Bellarmine campus and all around the world. Humans eat a variety of foods and are tertiary consumers. They can be found all around the world and on every sngle continent.
Decomposer – Snail(Gastropoda)
Snails are unique because they have adapted to all the habitats on the earth. They can survive in both hot and cold climates. They are usually found in mountainous and high altitude regions. They are essential to an ecosystem because they help recycle nutrients. They can be found all over the bellarmine campu, but this picture shows snails that are on a tree in the quad.
Herbivore – Pill Bug(Armadillidiidae)
Pill Bugs are commonly found in damp environments like under leaves are in dirt. They sometimes wander around like in this picture. They eat decomposing vegetation.
Carnivore – Dog(Canis lupus familiaris)
Dogs are usually found in homes because they are commonly pets for humans. This dog is Ms. Giraudo’s dog. His name is Yoshi. Dog’s are domesticated and kept in human homes.
Omnivore – American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)
Crows live all around the world and nest wherever they can. They will nest wherever they can and forage for food wherever they can. They eat both seeds and insects which make them an omnivore. They live everywhere and do not have one set habitat.
Threatened species – Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba)
The Ginkgo tree is usually found in china and is a threatened species. It is the only living species in the division Ginkgophyta. This tree can be found next to Carney.
Endangered species – Bakersfield cactus (Opuntia basilaris)
The Bakersfield is found in the Mojave, the Anza-Borrego, and the Colorado deserts. It is an endangered species and is protected by the California government. In the farm there is a box for cacti. This Bakersfield cactus is found in that box.
Non-native species – Bees(Apis)
In the Bellarmine garden we have our own bee farm. Bees lives in hives all around the world. Honey bees usually live in tropical climates and forested areas. Bees in that quantity are no native to the Bellarmine campus and have been transported here by humans. It was hard for me to get a good picture because I didn’t want to be stung.
Pollution source – Cars
One pollution source in the Bellarmine campus are cars. Since this is a school, students come here everyday in a car so cars are a huge source of pollution. The cars create a lot of exhaust and pollute the environment.
1. Deﬁne and differentiate between ecology and environmental science and discuss the Bellarmine campus in the context of both.
Ecology is the relationship between organisms and their environment. Environmental Science is the study of environments in general. Environmental Science is more broad and includes subjects like geology. Environmental Science, however, does not have anything to do with the organisms. The ecology of Bellarmine is very interesting because there are a lot of organisms. The Bellarmine campus provides refuge in buildings for students and provides shade for a lot of animals. The Bellarmine campus also provides habitats for chickens and bees. Bellarmine’s environment also is interesting. The grass is usually muddy and wet because of the sprinklers. There is a also a lot of cool architecture in the buildings, statues and fountains.
2. deﬁne and describe any population, community, ecosystem, biome and aquatic zone that you ﬁnd on campus; and discuss the biotic and abiotic factors that contribute to that ecosystem.
There is a population of chickens and students on campus. Humans are most important population because they appear all over the campus. There is also a community, of students and teachers on campus. There is also a whole ecosystem on the farm outside of campus. The farm has it’s own animals and its own ecosystem. An example of a biome would be the entire Bellarmine campus because it contains multiple ecosystems. There aren’t many aquatic zones on campus, but there are fountains and water sources but they have no biotic factors. In the farm, there are many abiotic and biotic factors. There are chickens, bees, flies, plants and insects, which are all biotic factors. ABiotic factors, include rocks, wood for the treehouse, and water.
3. construct and discuss a food chain, a food web, and an ecological pyramid based on the trophic levels that you observe.
This is a common food chain that i created from some of my data. 10% of the energy transfers between trophic levels and because of this, the biomass of the tertiary consumer is less than the producer. This food chain results in the transfer of energy between the species and then the energy is recycled into the environment by the decomposers. This food chain is important because it shows the transfer of energy in the ecosystem.
4. investigate and discuss any endangered, threatened, and invasive species on campus.
The Bellarmine campus surprisingly contains threatened, endangered and invasive species. One threatened species is the Ginkgo tree, which grows right outside of Carney. It is over 270 million years old and is the only surviving species from the family Ginkgophyta. It was originally grown in China and has a basis as a medicine.
The Bakersfield cactus is an endangered species on campus. It is grown in the garden on campus. It is illegal to kill the plant because the population is so endangered. It was originally grown in Bakersfield California, but it’s habitat is unprotected. it has a flower that usually blooms during April or May.
Bees are an example of a non native species. Bees, in huge quantities, are not native to the Bellarmine campus. These bees were brought here by humans which makes them a non native species.
5. deﬁne pollution, and describe and discuss the various types that you observe on campus.
There is a lot of pollution all around campus. One main source of pollution is the cars all around campus. Since this is a school, students travel to and from school using cars and this causes a lot of pollution all around campus. These cars cause a lot of pollution. The Bellarmine campus is also really close to the San Jose International Airport. This airport and the planes landing there, causes a lot of pollution. The Bellarmine campus is also right next to a train station. The train which ends up traveling next to the Bellarmine campus also causes a lot of noise and pollution. SInce the Bellarmine campus is full of teenagers, littering plays a big role in the pollution on campus. Since students often forget to throw away trash, the campus becomes more filthy over time.