Results were obtained through visual agreement over eight hours, which suggested an existence of a general as well as species-specific preference of heights, with the Sizing Otis lamp preferring a height of 21-25 CM while the Junior almanac Savanna is more inclined towards a height of 31-35 CM. Introduction The S. Trilobite is an invasive species belonging to the Staircase (sunflower) family native to the tropics of Central America. It can, however, be found in humid tropical areas all around the world due to its high tolerance to even large ecological variations In habitats (PIER, 2003).
The three butterflies observed Include the two pieces to be compared, J. almanac (Peacock Pansy). And Z. Us (Lesser Grass Blue) as well as Papilla pollutes (Common Mormon), which is not discussed in this experiment. Z. Otis is a butterfly with a pastel blue-violet coloration with a silvery sheen (Evans, 1932) while the J. almanac is purple patterned with characteristic orange exports (Bingham, 1905). The P. pollutes can be identified by a group of large ashen spots along Its hind wing and foreign on a black body (Tan, 2011). In this experiment, we explore the competitive exclusion principle using the butterflies (Z.
Otis and J. Llama) as the model animals and the Singapore Daisy (S. Trilobite) as the common resource shared. According to the competitive exclusion principle, two species with identical patterns of resource use cannot occupy the same niche without leading to competition where the better-adapted species will outcome and eliminate the other species (Smith & Smith, 2012). Therefore, resource partitioning Is expected to occur between species sharing a specific habitat where each species only utilizes the segment of resources not used by the other species.
This would lead to difference in area of resting, feeding or reproduction. The main objective of this experiment was to investigate if the Z. Otis and J. almanac put the competitive exclusion principle into action when foraging for food with resource partitioning In the area of flower height. Our hypothesis is that butterflies do indeed have a preferred flower height. By examining the butterfly landing frequency on plants AT a single species Walt n mowers AT Deterrent nelsons, an appraisal AT mower height preferences among butterfly species may be obtained.
The results of this experiment can aid butterfly conservations efforts as the butterflies’ preferences for a retain flower height can be taken into consideration in determining the type of plants planted in a butterfly garden to attract specific butterfly species. Methods and Materials This study was conducted at Dairy Farm Nature Park located beside the Buick Timid Reserve, The secondary forest houses more than 1 50 species of butterflies alone (ATA, 2009). The experiment is concentrated on a 2. 5 x 1 mm plot area along the Wallace trail.
The plot consists of S. Trilobite of different flower heights that is directly exposed to constant sunlight. Observation was carried out in pairs on three separate says of constant sunny weather conditions, specifically the 14th, 1 5th and 17th October at timings of 1100-1430, 1230 – 1500 and 1130 – 1330 respectively with a total observation duration of eight hours. Flower heights are recorded for plants that butterfly land on for more than a second after the butterflies flew out of the designated area with a retractable measuring tape.
Results Butterflies observed landing on the flower were the J. almanac, P. pollutes and Z. Otis. The data of P. pollutes was not included in the results as their numbers were too low to be of significance. Figure 1 below represents the landing frequency of the butterflies in relation to the flower height range calculated using the equation, Average landing frequenter’s of butterfly landings of a specific flower height range)/(Total number of flowers of that flower height range).
A landing frequency of the butterflies was calculated to standardize the different number of flowers of each plant height. The purple bars show a general preference of flower heights between 21-25 CM and to a lesser extent between 46-CACM. The yellow and blue bars show the species-specific flower height preference of J. Llama and Z. Otis respectively. In the case of Z. Otis, a flower height of 21-25 CM was preferred while the J. almanac is more inclined towards a height of 31-35 CM.
For more comprehensive data of butterfly landings and plant height refer to Table 1-3 and figures 2-4 in appendices. Discussion As reflected by the purple bars from figure 1 above, a general preference of flower heights between 21-25 CM and to a lesser extent between 46-CACM can be observed. These two height ranges form the tall and short range of heights at both ends of the spectrum of flower heights studied. This preference to flowers of tall and short height range over flowers of middle heights can be explained by the ease of location.
From Deluge 2 Dwell, mowers, wanly Tall unaware ten TA I inelegant range, are Tuna at ten top AT the patch where they are comparably more exposed. Flowers in the short height range are found along the sides at the edge of the observation plot where they are also more easily accessible to the butterflies. The flowers with heights in the middle range, on the other hand, are dwarfed by the flowers in the tall height range and are hidden within the middle of the plot.
This ease of access to flowers on both ends of the height spectrum may be a possible reason for the butterflies’ general flower height preference. As seen from the figure 1 above, the yellow and blue bars show the species-specific flower height preference of J. almanac and Z. Otis. This difference in preference for different flower heights between different species is in accordance with the competitive exclusion principle and supports our hypothesis that there is a relationship between flower height and butterfly landing frequency.
Niche refers to how an organism responds to allocations in resources and mediators within an ecosystem and therefore affecting its survival as a species (Smith & Smith, 2012). According to the competitive exclusion principle, two species with identical patterns of resource use cannot occupy the same niche without leading to competition where the better-adapted and fitter species will outcome and eliminate the other species.
Therefore, resource partitioning occurs between species sharing a specific habitat where each species only utilizes the segment of resources not used by the other species, also known as its realized niche, thus minimizing competition between species. Since each species is thought to have a distinct, detached niche from other species, no two species can share a single niche in a stable environment (Smith & Smith, 2012). This explains the data shown in figure 1, which shows that the two species have different preferences in flower height with the Z.
Otis preferring plants with a height of 21-25 CM while the J. almanac species prefer plants with a height of 31-CACM. While, according to the competitive exclusion principle, no overlap in the realized niches is possible in a stable environment, a minimum permissible degree of overlap s, however, able to allow two species to coexist according to the limiting similarity theory. This accounts for the presence of both species of butterflies at all the plant lengths even though one species clearly outnumber the other.
The results of our study were limited in that the time frame of the experiment was only over three days. The experiment should be carried over a longer period of time to gain more accurate results. The experiment should also be carried out in different weather conditions, temperature ranges and humidity levels or different times of the day to confirm that the results are consistent across these variables. Differing results in different variables may prove that butterfly landings on different flower heights might not be due to competitive exclusion principle. S. Railroad is also known to form a forms a compact and dense ground cover to the extent AT crowning out toner species ( 2003). I Nils ostracize our measurements, as the measuring tape could not penetrate to the ground resulting in human error when measuring the height. The number of flowers of each flower height was measured only on the last day of observation to calculate the average landing frequency of the butterflies in relation to he flower height range. An average calculation is necessary to prevent a inaccurate results of butterflies preference for flower height that is more common.
However, the flower heights may have grown in the three days observed, by a few centimeters thereby affecting our results. This could be avoided by measuring the number of flowers of each flower height every day but this might result in excessive human interference due to the disturbance of the plot when measuring hard to reach plants. Conclusion In conclusion, our results do suggest that there is a relationship between flower eight and butterfly landing frequency, which can be explained by the competitive exclusion principle and our hypothesis that butterflies have a preferred flower height is proved right.