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Catherine Clements Pd.4

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  • 1. Muskrat Catherine Clements Biology 1 Pd. 4
  • 2. Niche of the Muskrat Ondatra zibethicus
    • Live near water usually marches, rivers, or streams.
    • Build a lodge, or house out of aquatic plants, usually cattails. Very similar to beaver lodge
    • Muskrats prefer to sleep during the day and are more active at night
    • Make holes in stream banks for protection.
    • And build feeding platforms
    • The muskrat is an omnivore and eats a variety of plants and animals. It depends upon any of the following: cattails, acorns, crayfish, frogs snails, or pondweeds. It shares a predator/prey relationship.
    • Predators of the muskrat: raccoon red fox, or snakes. These animals depend directly upon the muskrat.
    • Predators of the muskrat: raccoon red fox, or snakes. These animals depend directly upon the muskrat. • Muskrats mark their territory by using urine, similar to dogs
  • 3. Reproduction
    • Muskrats breed anytime from late winter through September
    • Can have up to 10 in a litter
    • Up to 5 possible litters ber year
    • Babies are born with out fur.
    • After two week period: fur develops and begin to swim
    • Muskrats live in large families, but if families get to large, females will kick out or eat young.
    Tiffany Hilton-Cole Tiffany Hilton-Cole
  • 4. Food Chain of Muskrat Producer Autotroph Primary Consumer Omnivore Secondary Consumer Carnivore Tertiary Consumer Omnivore
  • 5. Food Web of Muskrat Omnivore Producer Carnivore Carnivore Producer Carnivore Omnivore Herbivore
  • 6. Stream Quality Data & Analysis
    • This graph represents that Powder mill Run is a very healthy stream.
    • The high number of Class 1 organism indicated that this is a healthy stream because these organisms are pollution-intolerant.
    • The Class 2 organisms our somewhat tolerant of pollution, and they can exist in a range of water qualities.
    • These results are good for the muskrat because they will have healthy, clean, water to swim, build nests in, and find food.
  • 7. Water Testing Data & Analysis Where Levels Should Be in Healthy Water Actual Water Levels
    • If numbers are in this range the stream is in good health
    • If outside of range it could be to: acid mine drainage into water, agricultural run off, or even contaminate testing,.
    Nitrate Oxygen pH Phosphates Water Sample 0 10-15 6.5-7.5 0
  • 8. Temperature and Turbidity Negative Factors
    • The muskrat indirectly is effected by turbidity in its habitat in the mine because it eats organisms that are negatively effected by pollution.
    • For example, the crayfish or frog could have trouble seeing their prey because of high turbidity in the water. Higher temperatures means less dissolved oxygen making it hard for them to breath. Therefore, they could not catch food and die, and muskrats could not eat.
    • The stream is the prime habitat for the muskrat. A marsh and mine would cause a harder survival rate for muskrats.
    • With the current conditions of the water the muskrat could survive in the stream. But the marsh temperature would be harder for life. The mine is very acidic, so it would kill of most aquatic life.
    • Cool water streams (low temperature) are best and low turbidity for steams.
  • 9. Positive and Negative Factors
    • How to conserve and preserve?
    • For abandoned mine drainage:
    • Fill it up, collapse it, and put pipes to one central panel
    • For farms and septic runoff?
    • Trap water in waste water septic system and use buffer zone
    • Negative Factors:
    • Abandoned mine drainage
    • Agricultural runoff
    • Nitrates
    • Phosphates
    • Algae growing on top of water, not allowing photosynthesis to be through
    • Positive factors effecting Riparian zone:
    • Photosynthesis
    • Good shade, cool water
    • Class 1 invertebrates present
    • High diversity
  • 10. Conclusion I learned that certain organisms can help you determine the health of your stream. For example, if you find a mayfly you would know that your stream is healthy because they are a very pollution-intolerant organism I found the abandoned mine drainage interesting, because it is so deep in the ground but still effects our water and streams. I also think it is interesting that in the mine the water is clear, but once it receives oxygen it turns orange. I would be interested in researching turbidity further. Most of the water we gathered had low turbidity. What would be an example of high turbidity? Where would we find that water? And what is the cause of it?
  • 11. Work Cited “ Muskrat.&quot; World Book Encyclopedia. 1991. &quot;Muskrat.&quot; Encyclopedia Americana . 2010. Grolier Online. 12 May. 2010 <http://ea.grolier.com/article?id=0279780-00>. “ Muskrat.” Organism Menu. 28 April. 2010 < http://www.fcps.edu/islandcreekes/ecology/muskrat.htm >.