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The Effect of Temperature Difference in Microhabitats on EctothermsElizabeth PettitFebruary 24, 2015iolo!y "01 #aboratoryiophysical Ecolo!y #ab $eport Abstract %n this e&periment, stimulate' ectotherms in the form of Marshmallo( Peeps (ith %) button 'ata lo!!ers place' insi'e of them (ere use' to collect temperature 'ata from t(o 'ifferent microhabitats (ithin the habitat of a lar!e ma!nolia tree* +nlie en'otherms, ectotherms ha-e a lo( rate of metabolism an' must therefore re!ulate their bo'y heat throu!h solar ra'iation, e-aporation, con-ection, an' con'uction in or'er to increase their in'i-i'ual fitness* The t(o microhabitats use' (ere a tree branch about se-en feet off of the !roun' an' a pu''le (ithin the roots of the tree* Fi-e simulate' ectotherms (ere place' in each microhabitat for t(enty minutes (hile the %)button 'ata lo!!ers recor'e' the 'ecrease in temperature* Then, bac at the lab, the %)button soft(are allo(e' for the 'ata to be con-erte' into usable 'ata in Microsoft E&cel an' the . soft(are* Throu!h these calculations, the final results supporte' the hypothesis in sho(in! that the pu''le microhabitat allo(e' for a faster rate of 'ecrease in temperature as (ell as an o-erall lo(er final temperature* This coul' be attribute' to the hi!her rate of con-ection at the surface of the pu''le in comparison to the rates of both con-ection an' con'uction at the branch microhabitat* Introduction This lab focuses on the concept of biophysical ecolo!y, or the i'ea that the 'ifferent beha-iors or forms of an or!anism mi!ht alter its bo'ys temperature* T(o types of or!anisms are en'otherms an' ectotherms* En'otherms are capable of re!ulatin! their o(n bo'y temperature by usin! metabolic heat an' are therefore not !reatly affecte' by the temperature of their en-ironment* Ectotherms, ho(e-er, are of interest in the e&periment because they typically ha-e bo'y temperatures similar to their en-ironments, an' therefore, must chan!e their location in or'er to re!ulate their bo'y temperature* This is important because a 'ifference of only a fe( Pettit " 'e!rees can 'rastically affect the in'i-i'uals performance, its interspecific relationships, an' its fitness 3happeron, 2012* The 'ifferent habitats that an ectotherm (oul' occupy are referre' to as microhabitats, an' e-en sli!ht chan!es in temperature of these microhabitats can ha-e a 'irect affect on the or!anism itself* 6hen referrin! to a chan!e in an animals bo'y temperature, an e7uation e&ists for the chan!e in heat content* This is referre' to as the heat bu'!et, an' the e7uation is8 chan!e in heat content 9 metabolism : e-aporation ;<) con-ection ;<) con'uction ;<) ra'iation* =ince this e&periment focuses on ectotherms that 'o not ha-e a hi!h)ener!y metabolism, the important aspects of the e7uation to measure are e-aporation, con-ection, con'uction, an' ra'iation* E-aporation can be 'efine' as the heat transfer that occurs (hen (ater is con-erte' from a li7ui' to a !as* . s (ater e-aporates from a surface, heat is lost* /o heat can be !aine' throu!h e-aporation* on-ection is the transfer of heat ener!y to the outsi'e en-ironment throu!h a mo-in! material, be it a flui' or (in' 3happeron, 2012* %f the air or flui' is (armer than the in'i-i'ual, the bo'y temperature of that in'i-i'ual (ill rise* The mo-ement of the material re!ulates ho( 7uicly a heat e&chan!e (ill occur bet(een the in'i-i'ual an' the en-ironment* on'uction occurs (hen there is a transfer of heat bet(een a soli' surface an' an or!anism* %f the or!anism is (armer than the surface it is restin! on, the temperature of the or!anism (ill 'rop* %f the surface is (armer, ho(e-er, the or!anisms temperature (ill rise* The lar!er the surface area that e&ists bet(een the or!anism an' the soli' surface, the lar!er the rate of heat e&chan!e (ill be 3Marshall, 2012* $a'iation occurs (hen ener!y from the sun is either absorbe'or release' in an en-ironment* The ability of an or!anism to absorb this solar ra'iation, an' as a result heat up, rises or falls base' on the amount of sunli!ht, the an!le at (hich the sunli!ht hits the or!anism, an' the ability of the surface on (hich the or!anism rests to absorb the solar 0.