Third day at QUBS – August 17th
Today’s blog is brought to you by Team Loon
We began our day at QUBS with a breakfast of scrambled eggs and potatoes. We just want to make a note that our team is thoroughly enjoying the food here at QUBS and want to give a special thank you shout out to the staff here.
This morning we had a lecture and nature walk with Dale Kristensen. The lecture was called “A brief introduction to freshwater wetland ecology.” It began by explaining that wetlands are “Permanently or seasonally flooded ecosystems dominated by hydrophytic vegetation.” The lectured continued to give us examples of organisms in the surrounding wetlands such as bull frogs, redwinged blackbirds, beavers and moose.
We also discovered the vast importance of wetlands, and an interesting fact is that Hurricane Katrina wouldn’t have been so devastating to the metropolitan areas if the surrounding wetlands had been preserved. This is because wetlands aid with flood control by collecting water and then releasing it at a slower rate.
During the nature walk portion of the trip we learnt about cattail, purple loosestrife, and other vegetation. During the walk we saw just how extensive the coverage of invasive species was. One way to battle invasive species is to use biocontrol. A real example is the beetle that was brought in to control the purple loosestrife population. Although it seems to be working, it was an extremely risky move because bringing in one foreign species to control another could have other unknown effects on the ecosystem.
After lunch we went to two lakes to do fish analysis. The first lake we went to is Keast Bay where some of the species that first three groups found were: yellow perch, sunfish, rock bass, log perch, darters, banded jellyfish, largemouth bass, and blue gill. In the second lake team loon caught the most fish with 156 out of the last three groups. The most prevalent fish were pumpkins seed sunfish, rock bass and the most was bluegill. Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirnus) is a freshwater species and is a member of the sunfish family (Centrarchidae) of order Perciformes. Its notable feature comes from the blue-black gill cover called the opercular flap but the name comes from the bright blue gill rakers. The bluegill can interbreed with the closely related pumpkinseed sunfish
Before dinner some groups were able to enjoy some canoeing. After dinner we had three student seminars titled “West Coast Watershed of Canada” “Environmental Impact of Endocrine Disrupting Compounds: An Overview of the Socio-economic and Regulatory factors surrounding Wastewater Treatment Systems” and “Oil Contamination in Canada and Beyond.” We ended our night with owl calling. We used the “Barred Owl” call, but to our disappointment, we did not see or hear any owls tonight. Hopefully tomorrow we will have better luck!