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Sweet Gum Trees Lab Report

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In this experiment, we observed the relationship between the number of domatia, the number of mites and the size of leaves of water oaks (Quercus nigra L.) and sweet gum (Liquidambar styraciflua). Domatia are small chambers often located on the lower surface of leaves that serve as homes for predaceous mites. In return, the mites protect the plant from herbivory and pathogen attack. This type of interaction between plants and mites is a form of mutualism, more specifically facultative mutualism. Mutualism is an interaction between individuals of different species in which both species benefit. Facultative mutualism, which is very common, is beneficial but not essential to the survival and reproduction of either species. In an experiment conducted…show more content…
We traveled to Heath Lake Park in Columbus, Georgia to collect ten leaves of water oak trees and ten leaves of sweet gum trees. We visited ten water oak trees and ten sweet gum trees and collected only one leaf per tree. We carefully placed the leaves individually in Ziploc bags. We returned to the laboratory and used a dissecting microscope to count the number of domatia per leaf and the number of living mites per leaf. Then, we measured the total length and width of each leaf in centimeters. In order to clearly analyze the relationship between the number of domatia, the size of leaves and the number of mites, we calculated area of each leaf and the number of domatia per the area of the leaves. We calculated leaf area by multiplying length by width. In order to calculate the number of domatia per leaf area, we divided the number of domatia by the leaf area for each leaf. A one-way Anova test was ran comparing the density of domatia between the two species and correlation tests were ran to test for the relationship between the number of mites on each leaf and the density of domatia within the two
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