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Microbes making a living (PLE day 5)

A northern leopard frog (Lithobates pipiens).

A northern leopard frog (Lithobates pipiens).

The Pymatuning wetlanders finished discussing wetland biogeochemistry this morning by examining the phosphorus cycle in wetlands and then broadly discussing primary production, decomposition, nutrient cycling, and nutrient limitation in wetlands. The microbes are really the landlords of these ecosystems, and their activities dramatically influence the wetland environment.

We then finished data collection for our comparative vegetation project, and collected a few common submerged aquatic plants for our plant collections. Pressing plants and data entry filled out the afternoon.

We are five weeks into the semester…err, five days into the “semester.” In this 15-day field course, each day we cover approximately one week’s worth of the material that would typically be covered in a semester-long course. In fact, the students should must begin studying for the mid-term exam this weekend. So many plants, so little time.

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