18.5: Pond Ecosystem Relationships
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The following resource may be useful for this activity: https://www.msnucleus.org/watersheds/mission/plankton.pdf
A pond is an ecosystem teeming with life from across the tree of life. If available, view a sample of pond water in a petri dish under the dissecting scope. Try to identify any major groups of organisms you see (at least to phylum level) and make a catalogue of these in the space below.
Use a dropper to place a few drops of the pond water onto a slide. Add a coverslip and view your sample under the compound microscope. Document and attempt to identify any additional microorganisms you find in the space below.
As a class or with your lab group, make a collaborative list of the organisms in the pond ecosystem. Next, make a conceptual model that arranges these groups by relatedness. One way to do this is by building a phylogeny, much like you saw in Lab Microfungi - Slimes, Molds, and Microscopic True Fungi, organizing the evolutionary trajectory of these groups with a branching tree diagram. You can also see an example of this in Lab Evolution of the Embryophyta. However, a branching tree diagram is not the only way to communicate relationships. Feel free to get creative! What traits (such as photosynthetic pigments or cell wall components) differentiate these evolutionary lineages? How could you incorporate these into your model?