University of Puerto Rico at Cayey<br />Rise Program<br />Dr. Edwin Vazquez<br />Report on El Yunque National Rainforest and The Guánica Dry Forest<br />Group #2<br />BIOL 3009<br />Session 1300<br />July 10, 2011<br />
IndexIntroduction3Discussion of adaptations of flora El Yunque National Rainforest4Guánica Dry Forest7Methodology El Yunque National Rainforest9Guánica Dry Forest9ResultsIndividual results for El Yunque National Rainforest11Grouped results for El Yunque National Rainforest12Individual results for Guánica Dry Forest14Grouped results for Guánica Dry Forest16Results analysis (graphics)Individual graphics for El Yunque National Rainforest 23Grouped graphics for El Yunque National Rainforest26Individual graphics for Guánica Dry Forest28Grouped graphics for Guánica Dry Forest30Conclusion35Discussion36Appendix38Credits40
Introduction<br />Living in an island relatively small can have a different perspective about what are distances. In Puerto Rico running from side to side, for example from Fajardo to Mayaguez, can last about 4 hours driving a car. It might be raining in the north while in the south might be warm. Because of this we have evidence that a small region can have a diversity of ecosystems. To learn more about our natural resources, we entered two Puerto Rican ecosystems that differ from many essential features: El Yunque National Rainforest and Guanica Dry Forest. While visiting those places, several tests were made. In the Tropical Rainforest, the soil was the matter studied, while in the dry forest Floral ecosystem. This report discusses diferences between the adaptations of the plants in each bioma, exposes all the data taken, and also offers several graphics.<br />Discussion: Adaptations of flora in El Yunque National Rainforest<br />Since El Yunque is a tropical forest, there are many environmental factors that affect the growth and development of flora in this area, such as the climate, the temperature, the minerals in the soil, the fauna, the distribution of water, between others. Because of the effect of these factors, plants have made several noticeable adaptations to survive in this ecosystem. <br />Ever since we got on our first stop in El Yunque, we were able to see some of those adaptations. One of them was the symbiotic relationship of the Cadam’s tree roots with the fungal microorganism Myccorrhiza so that they would both help each other to survive by interchanging food and protection by the means of resistance to toxicity. Other adaptations were the Caoba’s tree resistance to mite, the ability of Yagrumo’s stem to float and proliferate, the Bamboo’s ability to dominate a specific area by modifying the soil, capturing all the sunlight and, therefore, keeping other plants species from growing beneath them. We also saw an interesting adaptation of bromeliad, which was a type of epiphyte, and which had a dimorphism adaptation, meaning that it had 2 ways of growing in the same tree according to the stage of growth on which it was. These 2 ways of growth were the phototropic growth, which is in direction to sunlight, and the geotropic growth, which is in direction to the soil. We were also able to see the special adjustment of the big trees’ roots to the unstable and rocky-bottomed soil of the forest by growing perpendicular to the soil. Also on the big trees, we could see that their leaves were adapted to the weather by being big and wide, a trait that allows them to eliminate excess water and to capture more sunlight for photosynthesis. In terms of the Sierra Palms, they have a special stabilizing root system which allows them to live in unstable and saturated soils. We were also able to observe one of the most amazing adaptations of plants in the forest: the adventitious roots, which are roots that do not form in the radical of the embryo, but on any other part of the plant, mostly in the stems. This allows the plant to climb or to extend on the soil’s surface, reproducing more easily and reaching for sunlight to complete photosynthesis. <br />In conclusion, the flora of El Yunque has evolved very specifically to reach the survival requirements of this ecosystem. <br />Discussion: Adaptations of flora in Guánica Dry Forest<br />The extreme conditions in Guánica Dry Forest limit greatly the growth of flora in this ecosystem. The scarceness of water, the high salt concentration, the action of strong winds, the recurrent fires, and the presence of so few nutrients in the soil are some of the factors that restrict the normal development of plants in this area and that promote the improvement of adaptations in the plants. <br />Since the beginning of our tour in the dry forest, we started observing that the plants of the area were very different from those of El Yunque or even from Cayey, so we inferred that they had special adaptations to survive in this extreme weather. One of the first plants that we found was the mangrove, which leaves were very little, as most of the other tree’s leaves in the dry forest. This adaptation allows them to retain water by avoiding transpiration. The mangrove also has a special adaptation to secrete the salt of his inside by means of his leaves, as if it sweated, and therefore, this allows it to maintain a balance on salt concentration and to not dehydrate. The most evident adapted plants of this area are the succulents and cactus which make a water and nutrient reserve inside their leaves, their thorns and their stems. This helps them to survive the drought times and to preserve their energy sources safely. Due to the dryness, the salt concentration and the high temperature of the area, another obvious adaptation arises on the height of most of the trees, which keep a short to medium height in order to preserve their nutrients and energy. <br />In conclusion, all of these vegetation species vary in their adaptations, but they all use them to survive in the hostile conditions of this extraordinaire environment. <br /> In this journey Yunque wanted to accomplish many things but the most comprehensive besides going to take soil samples, pH, humidity, altitude, and etc. Was to reach the top of this.<br />Methodology <br />I. Methodology for Soil analysis of El Yunque National Rainforest:<br />
Go to El Yunque National Rainforest .
Make eight stops and take the coordinates and altitude with the help of a GPS.
In those stops messure the:
A sample of soil can be taken in each stop so then the presence of fages could be analyzed. In the test tube write details like humidity, pH, temperature, and wind’s velocity
II. Methodology for Guánica Dry Forest:
Line Transect Method:
Lay a measure tape along the ground in a straight line between two poles as a guide to a sampling method used to measure the distribution of organisms (from 0 to 50 meters).
Record the organisms that are actually touching the line.
Using a quadrant, measure the percents of abiotic and biotic factors inside the box.
Other group will examine the effect of salt spray on the plant community progressing from the coast line to the forested areas
Also will determine the distribution and frequency of a specific plant ( Agave).
They will locate a population of their plants and then measure the distribution of their plant in the area.
Later, will describe the dispersion pattern for their species.
Results<br />I. Results of El Yunque National Rainforest<br />A. Individual results of El Yunque National Rainforest AltitudeCoordinatesTemperaturepHWind’s velocityHumidity49pN 18ᵒ 21.987' W 056ᵒ 46.223'95.1ᵒ F6Min 80p/m Max 346p/m4706pN 18ᵒ 18.1989' W 065ᵒ 47.394'94.1ᵒF4Min 0p/m Max 15p/m2165pN 18ᵒ 21.985' W 065ᵒ 46.225'84.6ᵒ F4Min 0 p/m Max 15p/m4.51,630pN 18ᵒ 18.749' W 0.65ᵒ 42.219'89.1ᵒ F4Min 0p/mMax 202p/m62,181pN 18ᵒ 186' W 065ᵒ 46.227'80.9ᵒF4.9Min 0 p/m Max 133p/m52,405pN 18ᵒ 18.218' W 065ᵒ 47.361'80.6ᵒF4.9Min 0 p/m Max 7p/m32,571pN 18ᵒ 18.328' W 065ᵒ 42.356'77.6ᵒF4.2Min 0p/m Max 244p/m4.52,878pN 18ᵒ 18.257' W 065ᵒ 47.539'76.0ᵒF5Min 0p/m Max 53p/m2<br />B. Grouped results of El Yunque National Rainforest<br />Results from Group #1AltitudeCoordinatesHumidity pH TemperatureVelocity of the wind70618 ̊ 20.298'N 065 ̊45.732'W580 ̊F2,48318 ̊18.1989'N 065 ̊ 47.394'W84%73F5618 ̊ 21.985'N 065 ̊46.225'W80F 206 F/M26,62218 ̊298'N 065 ̊47.394'W71F 1,60518 ̊18.65'N 065 ̊46.227'W25%6.578F 3,42518 ̊18.633'N 065 ̊47.546'W7%2,15318 ̊18.136'N 065 ̊47.047'W70%<br />Results from Group #3CoordinatesAltitudeTemperaturepHVelocity of the windHumidityN 18˚ 21.985 W 065˚ 46.22849 ft83˚ F 30˚ C6.8N 18˚ 18.335 W 065˚ 47.3472664 ft70˚ F 24˚ C560N 18˚ 18.284 W 065˚ 47.5872888 ft71˚ F 24˚C520N 18˚ 20.273 W 065˚ 45.73483˚ F 30˚ C6.840.9N 18˚ 18.297 W 065˚ 47.7212513 Ft80* F4.230N 18˚ 18.144 W 065˚ 47.0032571 Ft81.5* F4.240.5N 18˚ 18.568 W 065˚ 47.664 3394 ft76* F520N 18˚ 18.38 W 065˚ 47.263352 ftN 18˚ 19.121 W 065˚46.2881579 ft4.570%<br />II. Results of Guánica Dry Forest <br />
Individual results of Guánica Dry Forest of Line transectMetersObject found in specific centimeterLimestoneBushesGrass1m10.2010.20-5m-100-10m-20.10-15m-0-100-20m-20.10-25m25.125.106-30m40.10--35m35.0235.201-40m40.02-20.1045m10.70-70.1050m10.80-50.110
<br />Individual results of Guánica Dry Forest of Belt transectMetersObjects in quadrant (percent)LimestoneBushesGrass1m0%100% (White Mangrove)0%5m99%1%0%10m0%100%0%15m0%100%0%20m40%60%0%25m0%100%0%30m0%100%0%35m75%20%5%40m35%65%0%45m40%60%0%50m80%20%0%<br />
Results of other groups Guánica Dry Forest
Results of Line transect of Group #3MeterPercentObjects1m--5m--10m83% 17% grass plant15m67% 33% grass cotton20m57% 13% 7% 3% grass rock plant( orange)seashell25m100% grass30m92% 8% grass rock35m15% 68%17% Rock burnt grass plant (red)40m63%28%9% dry grass plant rock(white)45m40%12%24%24% grass seashells soil(red)rock50m40% 27%14%7%12% grass plantdead vegetation ants seashells
Results of Belt Transect of Group 3MeterPercent and object5m98% grey dirt (quicksand) 2% spider10m50% rock 50% quicksand15m5% cotton75% rock 19% plants (small)1% sea shell20m80% black rock3% sea shell17% plant(orange)25m100% grass30m85% grass 15% rock35m50% grass 50% rock40m95% rock 5% ants45m75% grass 5% ants 20% red soil50m97% rock 3% leaf
Results of Belt transect of “Group 1”MeterPercentObjects1m--5ma) 100%a) Lime stone10ma) 80% b) 20%a)Button Mangroveb)Lime stone15ma) 30%b) 70%a)Acacia b)lime stone20ma)100%a)Grass25ma) 85%b)15%a)Grass b) Lime stone30ma) 100%a)Grass35ma) 40%b)60%a)Grass b)Lime stone40ma)90%b)10%a)Lime Stone b) Grass45ma)10%b) 5%c) 75%a)Cactus b) Grass c) Lime stone50ma)20%b)80%a)Lime Stone b) grass
Analysis of Melocactus poblation in Guanica Dry ForestMelocactus Mother Plant #1 Mother Plant AliveDeadSeedlings 1m0112m0003m1014m82105m3146m3037m0118m0009m00010m000Melocactus Mother Plant #2 Mother PlantAliveDeadSeedlings1m2022m84123m103134m1895m124166m133167m7188m73109m21310m325Melocactus Mother Plant #33 Mother PlantAliveDeadSeedlings1m0222m4043m5054m4155m2356m2137m1018m1239m23510m707Total seedlings 10846154<br />Analysis of the results<br />I. Graphics for El Yunque National Rainforest<br />A. Graphics for individual results<br />Altitude in El Yunque National Rainforest<br />1153034122821Velocity of the wind in El Yunque National Rainforest<br />19050-240632Humedityin El Yunque National Rainforest<br />045987Wind velocity in El Yunque National Rainforest<br />481274042611Temperature of the soil at El Yunque National Rainforest in Farenheit(F°)pH of El Yunque National Rainforest’s soil<br />B. Graphics for other groups’ data <br />11176048260Average from the groupal data of pH in El Yunque Rain forest soil<br />Average from the group data of humidity in El Yunque Rain forest soil<br />II. Graphicsfor Guánica Dry Forest<br />A. Graphics for individual results<br />-1505967486<br />19050288758B. Graphics for other groups’ data <br /> <br />20320366395<br />C. Graphics for the Melocactus Analysis<br />Comparative Graphic of data from all groups of Belt transect from Guánica Dry Forest<br />371475392430Graphic for Melocactus #1 data analysis by Group #4<br />Graphic for Melocactus #2 data analysis by Group #4147320229870<br />Graphic for Melocactus #3 data analysis by Group #4<br />Conclusion<br />After visiting El Yunque National Pluvial Forest and the Guánica Dry Forest we can determine that the differences between these two ecosystems are drastically evident. According to our inquire and as shown by the soil’s condition as well as by the organisms’ adaptations, while El Yunque receives about 200 inches of water per year, the Guánica Dry Forest remains with less than 30 inches.We can conclude that this is caused by their different geographical locations and altitude. By our experience on both ecosystems, we can determine that the humidity in El Yunque is a lot higher than in Guánica, while the temperature is lower in the Pluvial Forest; unfortunately we didn’t have quantitative data from Guánicaon these topics to compare. Because of the qualitative evidence shown by the adaptations of plants on both forests, we can also deliberate that evolutionary variations result from adjustments of the organisms to their environmental requirements. We could observe the evident differences between the variations of the vegetation that have resulted from natural selection: in El Yunque, most of the plants were taller, leafier and had bigger leaves, while in Guánica Dry Forest the plants had smaller, fewer leaves and were lower. As we can see, the survival conditions of the organisms are directly related to the conditions of their habitat. According to our observations, some other factors, such as the pH, the wind velocity, the competition of other organisms in the area, the different reproduction cycles, between others also seem to affect the organisms’ variations according. While comparing the data collecting methods used on both expeditions we can conclude that they are very different from each other, but that they both reached their inquire objectives very well. As a group, we would recommend to use the same research techniques on both forests because that way it would be easier and more effective to compare the obtained facts. In conclusion, we would say that this trips were enriching experiences because they allowed us to see some of the natural resources of our Island form both a tourist and a scientific perspective.<br />Discussion<br />Our trip to El Yunque was a meaningful experienced to our lives. Just the fact that we walked so much to go to the top of the mountain and once we arrived the view in the rock on the top of the mountain was something outstanding. Mostly what we did was to take samples of soil to later see if we could find and see if we can find some kind of new bacteria or virus. We learned new techniques on how to take the ph of the soil where we extracted the soil and the humidity, the wind in that area and many other things. Our objective was to experiment the feeling of going to a tropical forest and taking samples of soil and other tests. We also saw how within that forest are many animals and the majority of them are endangered species. Some images to the trip can be seen in Figure 1 in the Appendix.<br />In our trip to Bosque Seco in Guánica was an outstanding experience. First of all we learned a lot about that forest peculiar things. When we were there our main focus was on two plants the mellow cactus and Agave. The cactus reproduces sexually and the Agave reproduces asexually. One of the many interesting fact learned in this trip was how the trees adapt to the forest by dropping their leaves, this process is called disguise. In this trip we did to different experiments. One was quadrant lines that was to measure from the beach up to fifty meters into the forest and see what was in the surroundings and the quadrant to more specific in the way be made a possible percentage of how much rocks and vegetation was there. This experiment increased our knowledge and was a wonderful and great experience. A collage of the pictures taken in this trip appears in the Figure 2 in the Appendix.<br />One irony that we all saw was when we went to El Yunque, it did not rain but when we went to Bosque Seco in Guánica it rain a lot, it was horrible. We found it weird knowing that El Yunque is a tropical forest and it rains almost every day, but in Guánica is a hot forest where the cactus lives and hardly doesn’t rain. Now we know that these things happen. These two fieldtrips were amazing and unforgettable; acknowledging that all these things that we did and learned will be useful and constructive for a near future. Also the techniques learned will be very helpful for future studies. The beauty of our island and the wonders are unexplainable and it’s so miserable how people are damaging it and destroying our nature.<br />Appendix<br />El Yunque National Rainforest<br />Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 1 Pictures taken by Group 2 at El Yunque National Rainforest in June 20, 2011<br /> Guánica Dry Forest<br />Figure 2: Pictures taken by Group 2 at Guánica Dry Forest on June 27, 2011.<br />Credits<br />
WorkDone by Title PageNicholson SilvaIntroductionGrethel MontañezDiscussion of adaptations of Flora in El Yunque National Rainforest and Guanica Dry ForestAngélica GonzálezMethodology of Soil Analysis in El Yunque National RainforestAdrián RojasMethodology of Line Transect and Belt transect in Guánica Dry ForestLuis AlveloRecopilation of data tablesCelizbets ColónIndividual Graphics of El Yunque National RainforestGustavo PérezIndividual Graphics of Guánica Dry ForestCelizbets Colón Groupal Grahics of Guánica Dry ForestGustavo Pérez and Celizbets Colón ConclusionGrethel Montañez and Angélica GonzálezDiscussionEduardo RiveraCollageNicholson SilvaEditionCelizbets Colón