There’s a Fungus Among-us. Termite research by Claire Fuller And her trusty helpers: Beatriz, Rebecca, Jennifer, and Clarity. Introduction/Research:.
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Termite research by Claire Fuller
And her trusty helpers:
Beatriz, Rebecca, Jennifer, and Clarity
Termites grow fungus after a few days in agar. Due to either different exposure rates or inhibition rates, some combinations of different castes grow fungus faster than others. Our experiment attempts to test to find out whether soldier secretions inhibit fungal growth and whether worker’s foraging tendencies increase their exposure to spores, decreasing the amount of time it will take for them to grow fungus.
Data:The following graphs both show how long it took (in days) for fungal growth to appear on different combinations of termite castes. However, they have different ordering of termite combinations on the bottom depending on different hypotheses. The first is a prediction based on exposure to spores, the second on soldier inhibition of growth.
Hypothesis 1: The more exposure to spores, the fewer days it will take for fungal growth to appear.
’03 research comparing proportion of workers with fungus to soldiers with fungus
Workers: black line
Soldiers: gray line
To reach more stable conclusions, this experiment would have to be replicated many times. There is a high chance of error considering this experiment has only been done once. However, due to to the data, minus the one worker (and that could have been an experimenter malfunction), we conclude that Hypothesis 2 is more accurate.
That is all for now…
only the future will further support or reject our hypotheses… other Earthwatch crews, other days in the mangroves and around VIERS, other messy encounters with soldiers.
That’s all folks!