1. Questions - Phytotron Stream

Here is a compiled list of your questions.  At the bottom of this page we have pasted a pdf where we take one question and work through a concept map and state hypotheses.
  • What is the effect of light on midge fly larvae?
  • How does water depth affect the presence of millimeter-long snails?
  • Do roots grow around the banks to hold up the sediment, or vice versa?
  • What types of species live in the holes on the bank, depending on the site of the hole?
  • Do various species of mosses compete for space along the bank?
  • What height above water level would a spider consider a "safe" distance for web building?
  • How do hydropsyche capture other species in their nets?
  • Do mosses appear more prominently where water and air meet on a stationary surface?
  • How does urbanization affect the formation of streams? 
  • Are there distinct species that grow in the riparian zone (allow their roots to be submerged in the water)?
  • How does water turbulence (oxygenization) influence the depth of root development?
  • Is species richness higher in rocky or sedimented areas?
  • Any species richness at all?
  • Does bank slope affect channel depth / water speed?
  • Do pools below dumped rocks accumulate industrial pollutants?
  • Does rapid runoff from drains / storms influence composition of flora / fauna?
  • Does sediment depth increase with distance from drain?
  • How does the size of slow-moving pools affect the species composition?
  • Does bank height/slope decrease w/ distance from pipe?
  • Macroinvertebrate density: higher on exposed bedrock? Higher in sunlight?
  • How does canopy cover influence stream species composition?
  • Is/was area around stream a floodplain?
  • If so, does channeling/pipe affect flood frequency?
  • Does soil microbiota vary with height up the bank?
  • Do mosses / lycopodium stabilize bank, or simply exist where bank is stable?
  • Do sewer lines affect stream flow? Create habitat?
  • Any differences in water quality of intersecting stream?
  • Affects of vinca vine on bank stability at intersection?
  • What does a healthy southeastern stream look like?
  • How do water particulate / clarity levels compare to non-urban streams? Implications for stream health?
  • Dragonfly with white tip at the end of the thorax. Why did it shift its wings at certain angles while sitting on a branch?
  • Why does air (in the form of air bubbles) come from the clay & sand in the stream when I step on the ground with force?
  • Besides the main stream, there are several areas from the side of the banks where water is coming from. Where is that coming from?
  • Why are there so many ants on the rocks in the middle of the stream?
  • Saw another similar-looking dragonfly. Didn't move wings at all while landed. Why?
  • Dragonflies had brown tips at the wings. Why? For what purpose?
  • What composition is the sand/clay in the stream?
  • Why are there so many ants on the sewer pipes?
  • Where does the stream eventually go to?
  • Why are mosquitoes in NC less malaria-prone vectors?
  • Would getting rid of mosquitoes really disturb the food web?
  • What kind of trees (species) live here?
  • Are cacti native to NC?
  • Which plants here are native to NC?
  • How dirty is the water here?
  • How clean is the air in this area?
  • Do the plant roots stabilize the stream?
  • Are these rocks man-made?
  • What animals live in the stream?
  • How clean does the water have to be for fish to live here?
  • Why are the snails so small?
  • How are the snails affected by sunlight and/or water temperature?
  • Why do the liverworts grow mostly along the bottom of the bank (at a constant level)?
  • What happens to the littered plant life in the stream? Do other organisms use it?
  • Do the little rapids serve as a physical barrier for any species?
  • Could we do an assessment of water quality by sampling aquatic invertebrates?
  • What is the watershed for this stream?
  • Are there any endangered species here?
  • How many species of fish?
  • What is the dark gray silt made of?
  • What are the holes on the side of the bank for? Roots?
  • Sample different fish species?
  • Helgarmites?
  • How does biodiversity change as the stream is put into a pipe?
  • Does stream chemical composition change with shift to pipes?
  • Why do fly larvae live underwater vs. outside of it?
  • What are the little green spiky balls?
  • How do stream species utilize dead leaves and other ecological waste in the stream?
  • Why do the roots of some trees extent out of the soil and then go back in?
  • Do plants living underwater obtain energy in a different way?
  • How does human placement of rocks in the stream alter stream ecology?
  • How do stream species cope with the extreme flooding?
  • What happens to trees after they fall?
  • What are all these acorns used for?
  • What's the relationship between the ferns, algae, and ivy?
  • What animals use these little cylindrical tunnels?
  • What species live in the crevasse between two rocks?
  • Why are barnacle-type things growing on part of the pipes but not on all of it?
  • How many different species are fighting to extract particles from flowing water? Who wins, and why?
  • Riparian zone (floodplain): how are streams with riparian zones ecologically different from those that don't have them?
  • How much pollution is in the stream, and how does it affect the ecology?
  • How do the flies and ants and other mobile species interact with the algae and mosses?
  • How did the mosses and other non-mobile species reach the stream in the first place? Where did they come from?
  • How does the ecosystem of the stream fluctuate as the stream falls and rises? What adaptive capabilities have species evolved?
  • From what are the sediments in the stream derived? What nutrients sustain the river?
  • What makes this stream different from others that makes it ideal for insects but seemingly no vertebrate life forms?
  • What would be the consequences of a stream like this disappearing or becoming polluted?
  • What species of life forms (bacteria, etc.) live underneath the stream? What roled to they serve in the stream ecosystem?
  • How does the stream's composition change across depth and width?
  • How did they replace the area over the pipe so it looks exactly the same?
  • How long ago did they do it?
  • What did it look like before they did it?
  • How did putting in the pipe affect the stream's ability to support life?
  • Is it at high tide or low tide?
  • Do all the flora along the bank require water for reproduction?
  • How do species decide where to build a web?
  • Where does the stream come from and is it filtered?
  • How are ants able to cross the stream?
  • Does the algae on the banks indicate normal water level?
  • If the water height was much higher, how do plants that can't survive underwater grow under the average water level?
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Emily Bernhardt,
Sep 1, 2011, 12:31 PM
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