Blog for 2009-06-12

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Analyzing leaf litter.

Today was the day whereby we were asked to submit our focal taxon of interest for the entire course. Initially, I had chosen ferns as my subject of interest, but decided to switch to bracket fungi later. Other focal taxa that have been selected include spiders (Jessica), termites (Mindy), grasshoppers (Ridwan), stick insects (Abigail), frogs (Sreekar), butterflies (Andrew), ants (Shana), lizards(Kristina), macarangas (Le), Dipterocarpaceae (Nuwan), ferns (Serena & Douwe), ficus (Molly), gingers (Agri), Rubiaceae (Fae), gill-fungi (Alex) and lichen (Dita).

Then, it was also our first day of conducting a laboratory exercise on insects which required us to extract, sort and identify the different types of insects found in the leaf litter bags collected two days ago, up to its order level. Both qualitative and quantitative data were recorded. At the same time, another group went back into the CTFS plot to collect all the pit-fall traps set up two days ago. Pitfall samples were also analyzed.

After the lab session, Rod identified the various short comings of the collected data, and also the various means to overcome these uncertainty. At night, Sabrina (Researcher) gave us a wonderful talk mainly about wood, leaf and various parameters that can be used to explain the forest dynamics of tropical rainforests such as those at Lambir Hills, Sarawak.

Not forgetting, it was also the day when Ridwan (my room-mate) caught a mild-fever.