The purpose of building this was to measure survivability and to obtain useful research that could be helpful in furthering ecological understanding. There were two missions in which “Biospheres” were sealed inside to accomplish these goals. However, after the second mission it became a place solely for scientific research, not about human survival. For our biospheres, we obtained a number of different components, all of which served a specific purpose. We first took a glass container, glass because it does not allow the escape of air like plastic containers can.
The soil that lined the bottom of the biosphere was helpful to the survival of our biosphere. It also creates a solid bottom for our other animals to use to their advantage, as well as the survival of our plants. After the soil and lake water was settled, we placed a number of rocks at the bottom of our biosphere. Next we filled our glass containers with lake water. This allowed our shrimp or snails a place to rest, provide calcium carbonate and serve as a nice decoration!
After this we placed in our plant, which would use photosynthesis as a means to use up the OIC carbon dioxide given off by our living organisms and provide them with oxygen to breathe and function. After the water cleared and settled we put in a droppers full of incorporation to provide us with other helpful and necessary microscopic organisms. The first large animals we placed in was a snail, who would eat the algae that builds up in the jar and keep it clean for the other organisms living within it, while providing themselves with food.
Finally we placed a tiny shrimp that also cleans and eats away algae that grows. This is how we created our biospheres. For the rest of the semesters, they remained closed and under consistent lights in a biology lab room. They stayed under fluorescent light because that provides close enough to sunlight without raising the temperature of the water, which sunlight can do. It is also more consistent. We did observations once a week during our lab period and wrote a short paragraph that described what was going on with our biospheres. My biosphere started out strongly.
Everything was living and looking healthy. At first it was very difficult to see change from week to week because everything mimed to remain the same. However, the further it got into the semester, the more clear it was when things went wrong and when things happened that were not supposed to. In the beginning my entire biosphere looked healthy and as if each organism was doing their job. My plant stayed healthy for most of the project, right up until the last few weeks of observation. The same happened with my snail although towards the end of the week it became lethargic in its movement.
Unfortunately my shrimp didn’t live even a week. Throughout the reject, during different weeks, I would find other small organisms swimming around in the water. By the end of the project however, everything seemed mostly dead. I learned a lot from this project, especially about how the reuse of waste and recycle of byproducts that aids the biosphere in being independently functional. I also learned how to make close observations of the environment and learn what things should look like. It was interesting and exciting to have my own creation to watch develop and change.
The last thing learned is that everything doesn’t always go according to plan in science, it moves in different and unexpected ways, which makes it so much fun to observe. Alexandra Kane Biosphere Log Date Temperature Comments FIRST READING: Water Temp: 19. 20 C. PH: 6. 82 Dissolved Oxygen: 9. 40 MGM/L Conductivity: 292. 2 02-11-14 Room temp unavailing First day – sealing up the jar – allowing water to settle and what not – still quite cloudy from the soil. 02-14-14 25. 60 c Wow I can finally see inside my biosphere! Water is clear with little particles floating around. Plants are rooted.
No thermometers found maneuvered. Can’t find my shrimp but know he is in there. My snail moved and it was great. So my snail is confirmed to be alive. Plants are green, soil has almost completely settled. 2-18-14 25. 20 c Plants are still green and seem to be holding well in the soil. Soil seems to be settled. My rocks look cool in the soil now. Water is really clear. I found my shrimp! He is alive! Snail hasn’t moved much. 2-25-14 25. 40 c It might be my eyes but it looks like the biospheres water keeps getting clearer and clearer. Everything seems to very settled. My shrimp isn’t moving too much.