Heather Sieminkewicz

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  • 1. RiparianZone Retreat and population studies Heather Sieminkewicz Honors Biology II Period 1

2. 3. Niche of Mourning DoveZenaida macroura

  • Mourning doves are highly adaptable birds and are found in wide varieties of habitats. They are more common in open woodlands and forest edges near grasslands and fields.
  • Mourning doves eat a wide variety of seeds, waste grain, fruit, and insects. Their diet is 95% seeds or plant parts. They prefer to eat seeds on the ground, but when food is scarce they will eat in trees and bushes. They are considered herbivores.
  • They use a variety of body positions to scare away intruders and threaten invading males. Adult mourning doves will try to lure predators away from their nest by pretending they are injured, this is called the broken- wing feign.

4. Factors which Affect Birth Rate of Assigned Animal

  • The breeding season is February through October. Mourning doves have the longest breeding season of all North American birds.
  • Mourning doves may breed several times in a breeding season, depending on food availability.
  • The gestation period for a dove ranges anywhere from 14-18 days until hatching.
  • Female mourning doves usually lay two small white eggs in an open nest per season.
  • Both male and female mourning doves share in incubating and feeding their young. Incubation lasts 14 to 15 days. Young mourning doves are fed regurgitated food by both parents. For the first 3 to 4 days after hatching the young are fed only crop milk, an energy rich substance that is produced in the crops of both male and female parents. After that time, parents begin to add more seeds to the regurgitated food until they are fed only regurgitated seeds by the time the young leave the nest.
  • After finding a mate, males begin selecting a nest site. Nest construction takes over ten hours and covers a span of three to four days.

5. Factors Which Affect the Death Rate of Assigned Animal

  • Mourning doves are swift and maneuverable in flight, so they can escape most predators if they are aware. The exception to this are falcons, such as peregrine falcons and prairie falcons. The mourning doves play a significant ecosystem role. They consume large quantities of grains, seeds, and fruits, which has an impact on the plant communities. Mourning doves may act as seed dispersers for certain fruiting plants that they feed upon. They also have a positive and negative importance to importance. Mourning doves are the leading game birds in North America, providing more than 1.9 million recreational hunting trips each year. They negatively effect humans because they eat cereal grains; therefore, they can occasionally become pests of crops.
  • Adult mourning doves usually live to about 1.5 years old in the wild, but one wild mourning dove lived to 19.3 years old. Some areas of the United States allow hunting of mourning doves, in these areas average the lifespan is lower. The average lifespan for a mourning dove in captivity is 31.30 years.
  • Some common parasites that might harm mourning doves are fleas and ticks.
  • If overpopulation occurs mourning doves will have a harder time finding nesting sites and food sources; therefore, the reproduction rate of mourning doves will drop and so will the population.

6. Food Chain of Assigned Organism Producer Autotroph Primary Consumer Herbivore Secondary Consumer Omnivore Tertiary Consumer Carnivore 7. Food web of Assigned Organism Herbivore Producer Herbivore Carnivore Carnivore Producer Carnivore Herbivore Herbivore Omnivore Producer 8. Population Sampling Techniques

  • Mark and recapture is a population sampling technique that requires you to capture organisms and mark them in some way and then release them back into their natural environment. Then the next day repeat the process.
  • Another method to sample a population is to take a small population to represent the whole population. For example, in our lab we drew a small circle around an area and counted all the organisms that were present, this small population sampling represented the whole population present.

9. Stream Quality Data & Analysis

  • The graph represents good stream quality because there are a lot of Class I organisms. Class I organisms are only present in good water quality because they are generally pollution-intolerant.
  • Since there are a lot of Class I organisms and a very low number of Class III, which indicates good water quality because Class I organisms are intolerant to pollution and could not survive.
  • Cleaner water is healthier for mourning doves because they drink water several times a day.
  • If the majority of organisms were found in Class III, the population of mourning doves would decrease because they would not have a water source. If the mourning doves would die off then pollination of plants would most likely not occur and they would also die, which in turn would effect the entire ecosystem.

10. Water Testing Data & Analysis

  • An ideal Nitrate level and Phosphate level in water is zero. The ideal range for DissolvedOxygenis 6-10. The ideal pH level is 6.5-7.5.
  • The ideal range for Nitrate and Phosphate at Powdermill is zero. They would like the Dissolved Oxygen level to be 6-10, which represents a healthy stream. The pH level should be between 6.5-7.5, to be able to support life. If any of the levels get out of control it can kill off the stream and it could become polluted.
  • If a mourning dove is living near a stream of the marsh then it will have no problem surviving because it has a clean water source. On the other hand if it was living near mine waters, since the waters are polluted a mourning dove would most likely not survive.
  • The turbidity of water must be clear that way clingers on the bottom of the stream are able to cling to rocks, organisms are able to see underwater, and it wont clog the gills of organisms that live underwater. The ideal temperature range is 70 degrees and below.

11. Soil Testing & Analysis

  • Nitrogen is essential to proper functioning of plant metabolism. Phosphorous is the most important nutrient in root formation, creating a good fibrous root system. Potash stimulates flowering, and is needed in photosynthesis to make sugars. Plants also need the correct pH level, which controls how well plants utilize the nutrients available in your soil.
  • The ideal range for pH are within a range of highly acidic of 4 to slightly alkaline at a pH of 7.5 to 8. The ideal range for Nitrogen, Potash, and Phosphorous are medium levels in the soil.
  • If the soil becomes too acidic or too basic it will not allow the plants to absorb nutrients, which will make them die. if the plants die it will effect the entire ecosystem greatly.

12. Positive and Negative Factors

  • The stream and the marsh would be able to support life of a mourning dove, because of the clean water. A mourning dove drinks water many times a day. On the other hand the mine waters would not be good for a mourning dove because the water is polluted enough that the water would not be beneficial to it.
  • The soil conditions at the riparian zone are good for a mourning dove. Since they have a trace of Phosphorous, Nitrogen, and Potash it will help plants grow and produce seeds, which will provide food for mourning doves.
  • The factors that positively affect the riparian ecosystem are the Class I organisms and the healthy levels of pH, Phosphorous, Nitrogen, and Potash. These factors keep the stream healthy and able to support life. The factors that negatively affect the riparian ecosystem are the possible manure run off from farmlands which will pollute the PA streams. Another source of pollution in PA streams are mines and certain fertilizers that will kill off organisms living in the stream. If these organisms die then it will effect a mourning dove, because they eat insects.

13. Conclusion

  • Something new I learned about the ecosystem is the different Class organisms that indicate the quality of stream water.
  • What I found interesting was how involved the ecosystem. Once one thing goes wrong many organisms are effected.
  • I would like to research pollution further.

14. Works Cited

  • Pigeon
  • The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition
  • http://www.encyclopedia.com/searchresults.aspx?q=mourning%20dove&refinesearch=yes&src=ENCY
  • Mourning Dove
  • The Oxford Companion to American Literature Mourning Dove
  • http://www.encyclopedia.com/searchresults.aspx?q=mourning%20dove&refinesearch=yes&src=ENCY
  • Mourning Dove
  • Animal Diversityhttp://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Zenaida_macroura.html