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Acorn Alive

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Catherine E. Matthews, Professor (Creator)
Patricia Gail Patrick (Creator)
Institution
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: As summer turns into fall, oak trees share their bounty acorns. While the number varies with the age, size, species, and weather, a single tree can have as many as 15,000 acorns in a single year, but less than one percent of them will germinate. That's good for the parent oak because competition from all those offspring would create serious problems. The role of the acorn in the microhabitat around the tree is an excellent lesson for student investigators. Inside each acorn that fails to germinate is a complex community of animal and fungal organisms that demonstrate intricate biotic relationships. Even before the acorn hits the ground, it may fall victim to insects. Once on the ground, it becomes a potential home to many types of insects and other invertebrate larvae, snails, worms, and fungi. What better way to introduce students to habitats, communities, and ecosystem dynamics than to have them dissect their own acorns?

Additional Information

Publication
Science Scope, 26 (2), 14 - 17.
Language: English
Date: 2002
Keywords
Science teaching, Acorns, Microhabitat, Ecosystems