For this assignment, you will be analyzing a set of data provided to you, and entering and analyzing your own collected data. A total of 10 points is allocated for this assignment, divided among the following tasks.Please provide answers to the questions below in a word document, or fill in the spreadsheet as instructed. Keep in mind that the page limit is there to force you to write succinctly. This is an ecology class and scientific writing style should be clear and direct. (See style guide on course website.)
1. Penstemon data (3 pts):Fill in all the yellow highlighted cells of the Penstemon shade and sun patch sheets, and the example scanned data sheet (so three sheets in total) gathered by two previous TAs in the course over a longer, six hour period. In your word document, summarize the data in a paragraph, emphasizing what you feel are the important conclusions, and the contrasts in the two Penstemonsamples. Take no more than ½ page for this.
2. (3 pts) Fill in your own collected data from your comparison for a species on either scan or focal sample blank sheets. Organize the tables so that your comparison (e.g., patches of either dense or sparse flower density, or whatever comparison you chose) is clearly labeled. Fill in the summary insect species rates and plant visitation rates tables as you did for the Penstemon data in #1, above.
3. Methods (2 pts): Use about ¾ of a page to describe your field site, the species of plants and insects in your study, and your methods of study. Within this page address questions such as: How did your methods compare to the standard methods outlined in the protocol? Why did your methods make sense for your field study site and conditions? What problems with your methods do you think led to possible biases or could be improved?
4. Discussion (2 pts): Use the final ¾ of a page to address these items
a. Comment on the fit between your predicted pollination syndrome for your flower species and your results. Remember that effective of pollination is what drives evolution of the syndrome, and not visitation per se.
b. Use your data to examine the hypothesis that patch size or flower density affects foraging behavior of any of your insect species.
c. Use your data and observations to compare the insect species in terms of the effectiveness of their pollination within the arena you observed. (Recall that effective outcrossing requires visiting different plants of the same species in succession, rather than flowers within the same plant.)
d. Critique your field study methods– what questions remain unanswered? Do the results allow you to make strong conclusions? Why or why not? What might you have done differently to enhance your data set and draw stronger conclusions?