19 de abril de 2013

Homework #8

  1. Coast Redwood - Found a grove of redwoods in the UC Botanical Garden, and there are also many around the UC Berkeley campus
  2. Common Dandelion - Found a few dandelions in the middle of the field (near the 4.0 hill). Most of them didn't have flowers and only had the seed heads, with some already blown away.
  3. Daisy - Daisies are really common in UC Berkeley's fields. They often grow in clusters. I found this cluster of daisies growing near the Campanile
  4. Greater Periwinkle - I found this Greater Periwinkle growing at the base of a tree near Sather Gate. It was the only Periwinkle plant there
  5. Pacific Poison Oak - I found a few Pacific Poison Oak plants growing up the side of a building

Ingresado el 19 de abril de 2013 por liyingtan liyingtan | 6 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

22 de marzo de 2013


  1. A plant with regular flowers: Bright yellow flowers (species unknown)
  2. A plant with irregular flowers: Bright orange flowers (species unknown)
  3. A monocot: Agapanthus
  4. A dicot: Flower with 5 large pink petals (species unknown)
  5. A plant in the pea family: Common Pea
  6. Gymnosperm: Redwood
  7. A terrestrial plant that is not a seed plant: Fern
  8. A plant with pinnate leaves: Thick green pinnate leaves along Blake Street
  9. A plant with opposite leaves: Twigs of thick green waxy opposite leaves in UC Berkeley campus (species unknown)
  10. A plant in the sunflower family: Daisy

I have attached 10 pictures to this journal post. I was not able to identify all the species, however, the description of each plant has the 'type' of plant that it is meant to be.

Ingresado el 22 de marzo de 2013 por liyingtan liyingtan | 10 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

15 de marzo de 2013

Spring Observations

For me, the biggest indication that Spring is here, is that of the blooming of flowers. As such, for my observations, I found a beautiful orange-red rose and some small white flowers that had bloomed fully. The honey bee that I observed also represents the arrival of Spring, as honey bees become increasingly common during pollination season. What was interesting was also how one could see the seasons shifting from Winter into Spring. Winter is often characterized by trees devoid of leaves and flowers, and often signifies "death" (in a way). 2 of my other observations (from Muir Woods) were thus that of emerging plants/flowers to signify the growth and life that Spring brings. The small plant shoots that emerged from the ground, as well as the presence of only a few white flowers indicated that the growth of the plant/Spring was about it begin. This was interesting because the surroundings still had other trees/plants that were bare of leave/flowers and looked like they were still in 'winter mode', whereas there were other plants that were in the later stages of blooming/growth as well. I thought that these two observations were poignant in representing the beginning of the ushering in of life that Spring brings with her.

Ingresado el 15 de marzo de 2013 por liyingtan liyingtan | 5 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

01 de marzo de 2013

Species Interactions

  1. I spotted a bird hovering near a flower and reaching into the flower with its thin, long beak. It was hovering near the flower for a while. I wasn't able to snap a picture of it in action however, so a picture of the bird sitting on the branch (facing the flower) had to suffice. I assumed it was a hummingbird as it appeared to be eating the flower's nectar plus it had such a thin long beak. It is a bit larger than what I expected hummingbirds to be though, so I'm not too sure if it is truly a hummingbird/was eating the flower's nectar. Since spring is coming and flowers are blooming, sightings of hummingbirds eating from flowers will probably be more common.
  2. I found a honey bee pollinating a bright purple flower. It was hovering around the flower and from time to time, would fly in among the stigma/pistil of the flower and collecting nectar. I managed to get this shot during one of the moments when it flew into the flower and stayed there for a brief moment. Since spring is coming, most of the flowering plants are blooming and pollination is probably picking up pace.
  3. I saw a fox squirrel eating an acorn while perched atop a rock. It was nibbling at the acorn in quick, deft movements, and seemed rather intent/focused on it. I thought it was rather human-like the way it held the acorn between its two front paws to eat. It probably obtained the acorn from one of the oaks around the area.

Ingresado el 01 de marzo de 2013 por liyingtan liyingtan | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

22 de febrero de 2013

Moist Evergreen Forest

The moist evergreen forest biome was much cooler and shadier, and relatively more humid.

  1. Lichen: Lichen are small, hardy and highly adaptable. They grow fast in moisture-abundant conditions as they are able to absorb the moisture for growth. It seems like they depend on the trees to grow as well.
  2. Blackberry: Blackberries have woody stems and are extremely hardy and are able to withstand cold temperatures and moist conditions. It also has thorns that help it creep and extend itself into areas that have the most suitable growing conditions.
  3. Western Swordfern: The fern has very large, broad leaves to allow it to capture as much sunlight as possible for photosynthesis. It can also grow on other trees and take nutrients from it. Its compounded leaves also increases its overall surface area, thus allowing for increased photosynthesis.
  4. Redwoods: Extremely tall and most of its leaves occur near the top, so as to capture maximum sunlight and increase photosynthesis.
    Leaves appear to be thin and needle-like, helping to increase surface area for photosynthesis. Redwoods are evergreen and do not lose their leaves, thus allowing for continual food production.

  5. Fungi: Fungi grow best in damp conditions like the moist evergreen forest. I found these mushrooms growing out of a log - they likely feed on the nutrients from these organic matter in order to survive. They don't have leaves either indicating that they do not rely on photosynthesis/much sunlight for food production. This is good since the fungi grows on the forest ground where little sunlight reaches.

Ingresado el 22 de febrero de 2013 por liyingtan liyingtan | 5 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario


The chaparral biome was relatively dry and hot, especially in comparison to the moist evergreen forest.

  1. French Broom: The French Broom is considered an invasive plant in California. It has dense, slender green stems and very small leaves to reduce excessive loss of moisture in the dry growing conditions in the chaparral biome. It is also a fire-climax species adapted to regular stand-replacing fires which kill the above-ground parts of the plants, but create conditions for regrowth from the roots and also for germination of stored seeds in the soil. This is useful in the chaparral as the dry conditions can often lead to fires. It is also short, shrubby and woody which reflects its hardiness and ability to conserve energy.
  2. California Poppy: In the colder northern California, the California Poppy is annual. It dies off in the winter but the roots survive to grow another plant when the weather warms in the Spring. The California Poppy is able to self-seed, ensuring its survival and is adapted to fire. It is also very tolerant to droughts and high temperatures, idea for the arid environment in the chaparral.
  3. Ladybug: The ladybug has shield-like fore wings that allow it to live under loose bark where it is cooler, allowing it to weather the hot conditions. It is also poisonous, ensuring that it is protected from predators.
  4. Poison oak: The poison oak is very shrubby and woody, reflecting its hardiness against drought. In general, the poison oak is able to adapt easily to different environments, accounting for why its so prevalent!
  5. Milk Thistle: The Milk Thistle has thorns and spiky leaves to prevent excessive loss of moisture so as to combat the dry conditions, and also to protect itself against herbivorous animals.

Ingresado el 22 de febrero de 2013 por liyingtan liyingtan | 5 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

15 de febrero de 2013

Tree of Life exercise

The 5 taxa I found were Plants (pink and white flowers), Insects (Water Strider), Mammals (Fox squirrel), Mollusks (Barnacles) and Birds (brown bird).

The pink and white flowers represented flowering plants because it had the characteristics of flowers and leaves. The water striders represent insects as it has 3 main body parts and antenna, and belong to the Family Gerridae. The fox squirrel represents mammals as it is warm-blooded, has four legs and hair, and is a vertebrate. The barnacles are mollusks because it is soft-bodied and covered by the external hard shell . The brown bird represents birds as it has feathers and wings.

Together, these 5 observations represent 5 iconic taxa on the Tree of Life.

Ingresado el 15 de febrero de 2013 por liyingtan liyingtan | 5 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

Phenology Exercise

My observations represent flowering and leaf phenology as they are either bare (of both flowers and leaves) or with flowers and leaves.

I found Genus Vinca growing at the base of a tree on campus. Its purple and white flowers were framed by thick green leaves, indicating that it had started flowering and leafing and thus, was an example of flowering and leaf phenology.

In contrast, I found 2 plants that were bare of any leaves or flowers. One was found by the roadside (I think it is dry grass, with no flowers) and the other was found by Strawberry Creek and its branches were bare of both flowers and leaves. As such, these two plants represented a different type of flower and leaf phenology (bare/dry).

Ingresado el 15 de febrero de 2013 por liyingtan liyingtan | 3 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario