Bottle Habitat by qingyunliuliu


									                                                           Biology 1
                                                        Ecology Project
                                                         Bottle Habitat


           Science/Ecology

Due Date:

           Due date A is October 21, 2009
           Due date B is October 20, 2009

Description: Students will construct a terr/aqua ecosystem in a two-liter pop bottle. The TerrAqua
Column provides you with a model to explore the link between land and water. The model has four
basic components: soil, animals, water and plants. How do these components interact in a Terr-Aqua
system? (The word system indicates you are dealing with a diversity of organisms and the interactions
between them.)

Plants growing in the upper part of the TerrAqua Column take nutrients from the surrounding soil and,
with the aid of the wick, take water and other substances from the aquatic portion below. Substances
you add to the terrestrial section will move down, or percolate, through the soil and drain into the
aquatic section.                                                                                              Tape                     Tape
Students will record data concerning the observations they make over a two-week period.

Goal: Students will exercise important early scientific skills, like observing, measuring, classifying,
communicating data, inferring, and predicting. Students will also gain a greater understanding of a
biosphere and the interconnections between land and water.


     1.     Students will construct terr/aqua habitats in pop bottles.
     2.     Students will create charts to record data from observations.
     3.     Students will observe the habitats over a period of three weeks, and record what they see--
            changes in population, plant growth, water quality, and animal growth.
     4.     At the end of the observation period, students will graph their data.
     5.     Students will write explanations for what they observe.

                           Soil, water, and plants: Fill the top unit of your TerrAqua Column with soil
                           you collect, or with potting soil from a gardening store. Fill the lower aquatic
                           unit with tap water, or water from a pond, lake, puddle or fish tank.

                           Collected soil and water will likely contain algae, phytoplankton, plant seeds
                           and insect larvae. Store-bought soil and tap water will include far fewer

Terrestrial and aquatic plants are excellent indicators of change in your system. Fast-germinating and fast-growing plants will most
effectively register change in a short period of time.

Grasses, particularly lawn seed mixes, work well. Prairie grasses grow more slowly but have deep roots
that are interesting to observe. Radishes and beans also work well, though you will need to soak dried
beans overnight before planting.

Variables: Variables to consider in your experiments include:

           The type and amounts of soil, water, and plants – remember, depending on their source, the
            soil and water will likely contain such life as algae, fungus, mites, Daphnia, etc.
           Substances that might affect terrestrial and aquatic systems – nutrients (fertilizers), or pollutants (salts, pesticides, acids).
           Physical factors – temperature, light, sound, etc. (Try singing or screaming at your plants.)

Indicators: Indicators in a TAC are plants and animals and other system characteristics that change in response to your experiments,
giving you information regarding your hypothesis. Indicators include terrestrial and aquatic plants and the soil and water.

Some observations you can make of a plant indicator, for example, include percentage of seeds that germinate, plant height and
weight, leaf size and shape, root structure, number of flowers, length of life cycle and seed production. In the aquatic system,
indicators include increases or decreases in populations of algae and duckweed. These changes can show up as cloudiness in the water.

Experimentation with the TerrAqua Column is practically unlimited.

           Two 2-liter soda bottles
           Two bottle caps
           Wicking material-fabric interfacing or cotton string
           Water, soil, animals and plants

Step 1 – Remove label from the 2-liter bottle. Cut bottle 1 cm below shoulder.

                                                                                                                                   Bottle #1

Step 2 – Poke or drill a 1 cm hole in bottle cap.

Step 3 – Thread a thoroughly wet wick strip through bottle top, invert top, and set into base. Wick should reach
bottom of reservoir and thread loosely through cap.

Step 4 – Fill reservoir with water, aquatic animals and plants. Add soil, terrestrial animals and plants to top chamber. To be effective,
                              the wick should run up into soil, not be plastered along a side of the bottle. For better drainage, place a
                              layer of gravel, sand or vermiculite in the bottom of the soil unit.

Step 5 – Remove label from the 2-liter bottle. Cut bottle 1 cm below shoulder.

                                                                                                                                   Bottle #2
Step 6 – Place top of second bottle with cap on top and seal with tape. Then punch several holes into the
sides of the bottle for air.

                                                                                                                Air holes

For Stocking

It’s very important that all materials introduced into the TerrAqua Column — living, dead, or nonliving — are clean and free of
anything that might be toxic to living things (e.g., oil, pesticides, etc.). The organisms you introduce should be small and suited to the
habitats you construct. The number of organisms you introduce will depend on what they are but it is generally best to err on the side
of adding too few than too many, especially in the aquatic habitat. Bigger organisms should definitely be limited to one or two.

Over a two week period, the students will record daily observations, looking for plant growth or population changes. Take
quantitative measurements (exactly how many? exactly what size? how many days?) as well as qualitative (what color? what
shape? slow or quick movement?).

At the end of the observation period, the students will graph the information they've obtained through observation. At this time, they
should write hypotheses to explain some of the things they've seen.

Aquatic habitat                                                        Terrestrial habitat

          Fine grained aquarium gravel (provides ―bedrock‖)                      Fine grained aquarium gravel (provides ―bedrock‖)
          Sand or topsoil (provides bottom sediment)                             Topsoil (provides soil substrate)
          Untreated tap water or distilled water (provides                       Leaf litter (provides decaying material)
           aquatic habitat)                                                       Terrestrial plants and animals
          ―Boulders,‖ ―sunken logs,‖ and other miniature                         ―Boulders,‖ ―dead trees,‖ and other miniature objects
           objects typical of a pond bottom                                        typical of a forest habitat
          Aquatic plants and animals                                             Food for animals as needed
          Fish food (if you include a fish)

Exact Procedure:

Aquatic habitat

     1.    Add a layer of sand or topsoil (2-3 cm) to the deep base.
     2.    Add a layer of gravel (1-2 cm) on top of the sand or topsoil.
     3.    Add water to a level about 1 cm below the cap of the inverted deep funnel.
     4.    Plant aquatic plants in the bottom sediment. A chopstick or skewer will help you push the stems or roots into the ground.
     5.    Arrange ―boulders‖ and other objects on the bottom sediment.
     6.    Add floating aquatic plants.
     7.    Add aquatic animals.

Terrestrial habitat

     1.    Add a layer (1-2 cm) of gravel to the deep funnel.
     2.    Mix equal parts of leaf litter and topsoil together, moisten, and add a layer (6-8cm) over the gravel.
     3.    Add terrestrial animals that burrow to the soil (e.g., worms).
     4.    Plant terrestrial plants in the soil.
     5.    Arrange ―dead trees‖ and other objects on the soil.
     6.    Add terrestrial animals.
     7.    Establish a ―water connection‖ between the aquatic and terrestrial habitats by holding the terrarium over the aquarium at a
           slight angle and slowly pouring water down the side of the terrarium until it drips from the ―wick‖ into the aquarium. This
           is essential to ensure ―wicking‖ action.
Maintenance Instructions

Provide a light source, preferably indirect window light. A small desk lamp or plant light will work, too. For artificial lights, provide
12 –14 hours of light daily. If you place your project outside, make sure it is in a covered area , so that it does get light, but it is
protected from too much of the elements (rain, sun, and other animals).


Are the aquaria appropriately stocked? Have they been well-maintained? Are observations recorded at regular intervals? Are graphs
drawn correctly? Are hypotheses based in fact?
    You must turn in the following for evaluation:
     Bottle Habitat with plants, animals, soil and water.
     Typed written purpose, hypothesis, materials, list of types of plants, animals, soil and water that were used for your
                          project., data table (dates, growth measurements of each organism, and other observations), graph of data,
     Daily observations of your habitat, including dates and specific information.
     Students will observe the habitats over a period of two weeks, and record what they see--changes in population, plant
        growth, water quality, and animal growth.
     At the end of the observation period, students will graph their data.

                                              Ecology Biosphere Project Rubric

        CATEGORY                  4                          3                         2                         1
Purpose/Problem                   Purpose of the project Purpose of the project Purpose of the project Purpose of the
                                  is well stated, clear  is somewhat stated,    is vague, unclear      project is missing
                                  and accurate           and accurate           and/or inaccurate

Hypothesis                        Hypothesis is stated,      Hypothesis is stated      Hypothesis is stated      Hypothesis is not
                                  clear and well             and somewhat              and unclear               stated
                                  developed                  developed

Experiment                        All Terrestrial and        Terrestrial and           Terrestrial and         Terrestrial and
                                  Aquatic organisms          Aquatic organisms         Aquatic organisms       Aquatic organisms
                                  are listed accurately      are listed accurately,    are listed inaccurately are not listed
                                  and all food sources       but food sources and      and no food sources
                                  and environmental          environmental needs       and/or environmental
                                  needs are                  are somewhat              needs addressed
                                  substantially              substantially
                                  addressed                  addressed
Design and Development            All steps in the           Most steps in the         Few steps in the          Steps in the
                                  procedure were             procedure were            procedure were            procedure were not
                                  followed accurately        accurately followed       followed and the          followed and design
                                  and the design is neat     and the design is neat    design is unkempt         is unkempt and dirty
                                  and clean                  and clean                 and dirty

Data: Observations                Data was collected         Data was collected for    Data was collected a      Data was not
                                  over the entire two        more than one weeks.      few times.                collected
                                  weeks on a daily           It clearly describes      Observations were
                                  basis. It clearly          what was observed in      not clear and/or
                                  describes what was         complete sentences.       incomplete.
                                  observed in complete

Conclusion/Summary                Student provided a         Student provided a        Student provided a        No conclusion was
                                  detailed conclusion        somewhat detailed         conclusion with some      apparent OR
                                  clearly based on the       conclusion clearly        reference to the data     important details
                                  data and related to        based on the data         and the hypothesis        were overlooked.
                                  research findings and      and related to the        statement(s).
                                  the hypothesis             hypothesis
                                  statement(s).              statement(s).

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