Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Muka Head - Day 5

22nd November 2007, Thursday

At 8.30am, we gathered at 1st floor's conference room. As usual, we listened to the lectures about BEACH ecosystem. We were divided into two groups, I was in the group led by Mr.Sim; while another group was led by Ms.Hasni. Both were very nice teachers!

Like other ecosystems we did before, we had to deal with biotic and abiotic components...
we had 3 parts of beach ecosystem -- Rocky shore, Sandy shore & Sublittoral zone (the zone always covered with seawater)

The abiotic components which we measured at the 3 areas were water temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, pH, air temperature etc...
the special instruments we didn't use at other ecosystems were Secci Disk (to measure the light penetrability of sublittoral zone), and also plankton net (to collect plankton).

Both groups actually do the same jobs, so we had 2 sets of data for each site. Besides doing the measuring job, teacher explained the flora and fauna found there...
At rocky shore, Barnacles of 3 genus: Chthamalus sp., Balanus sp., Tetraclita sp. could be found.

After the morning session at beach under the sun, we were given some time to take a short shower and changed to dry clothes because our clothes were already wet, we were required to measure the salinity, pH, temperature etc in the sea...
Then, we had to find the phytoplankton and zooplankton under the dissecting microscope and recognise them...


After having lunch, we were free to do our own activities while waiting the time -- 3.30pm (if I didn't remember wrong lol....), we had a discussion of the data collected, and were told to prepare a very short presentation, by picking one of the flora or fauna found at beach ecosystem as our topic.

The flora found included Pandanus sp. (Mengkuang laut), Hibiscus tiliaceus, Pongamia pinnata, Casuarina sp. (Rhu), Ipomea pes-caprae (tapak kuda), Acacia sp. etc....
Fauna found: Littoraria sp., Thais sp., Morula sp., Nerita sp., Barnacles (Chthamalus sp., Balanus sp., Tetraclita sp. ), Saccostrea sp. (oyster), Ocypode sp. (ghost crab), Umbonium vestiarium (button shell), Donax Faba (clam) etc...
We had found many phytoplanktons and zooplanktons.. however, we couldn't really recognise all of them....


there's a planktonic medusa at the second photo...


fauna found.... the 2nd row shows sand dollar (Echinodiscus bisperforatus), and a starfish (Astropecten vappa?)
After the discussion, we changed back to our wet clothes... because we were going to be wet again!... at about 4.30pm, it's a good time for us to search for fauna at intertidal zone as it's exposed at low tide (there's different times for low tide to occur at different days).
The fauna in the photo above were caught during this time (of course we did released them after that...)
After the searching, it's time to work again.... in pairs, we needed to dig sand out from the quadrate and count the number of Umbonium vestiarium available... to know their distribution.
There were two sites -- left beach of jetty, right beach of jetty. 7 people went to the left, 7 people went to the right. At each site, we had to dig sand out from 3 zones, the upper, middle and lower(the intertidal zone)....
You may say it's an easy job, however... after digging out the sand and placed into the sieve, someone had to filter by using seawater to get the button shell. Next, we had to count them one by one.... @@"
At the lower zone, we could get about 700 of them ... counted till blur ... haha...
In fact, we were already late... luckily, our friends from other Groups who were free to walk by the seaside came and helped us... it was our last night to stay here, all of the other groups had already done with their works... hence they were kinda free lolz...
thanks to our helpful friends!


At night, we had BBQ as our dinner! haha.... our teachers and staffs really treated us nicely!

yo... having our BBQ and sitting at the jetty...


However, our A2 group couldn't rest yet.. right after finish eating, we had presentation (this was not the presentation that carries marks for our final exam..)..
I gave the short talk about the button shell, Umbonium vestiarium ..
Facts like: although we could get different colours of these button shells, with different colourful spots/patterns on the shells, they are actually from the same species -- Umbonium vestiarium. The spin-like structure is always follow the direction of clockwise... they eat detritus, and may be eaten by starfish and sand dollars.

This was the conference room which we had our lectures on beach ecosystem, discussion, and presentation... very nice huh?!

After we were done with the presentation, Mr Sim brought us to the next room -- the Marine-life Museum of USM Muka Head Marine Life Research Station...
Below are what you could see there....:



it's a big turtle shell! (you can see it there but not me okay haha..)




My A2 group with Mr Sim (the one in white shirt, behind me....)
One of the Malay girl was not from my group, and our group leader was the one taking this photo...

Although the time after we settled everything was already late, exceeded 12am...still most of us went to the jetty instead of heading to the dorm..
We had even screamed out loud to .. ? just simply screaming lah haha...
We enjoyed the breeze off the sea... we enjoyed chit-chatting there... and looking down to the seawater and might discover some marine life which were swimming very near to the surface... some of them had seen sea otter, I had just seen jelly fish...
Seeing stars at the sky there was nice too... Muka Head is such a great place... without much pollution... staying there was totally different from being in busy noisy town..
the very last night we stayed at Muka Head, November 2007...

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2 Comments:

Anonymous happy_mz said...

i still the beach ecosystem.....do the teacher ask u guys to walk into the sea??Last time I did, the water level till the breast....so exciting.. :)
the last night at Muka Head is really nice.....all the friends stay at the jetty there till 3am...we enjoyed watch the stars n chitchatting.....
Is nice that u wrote them out.

December 13, 2007 6:53 pm  
Blogger hedwig elaine said...

ya, all of us had to walk into the sea.. lolz... nobody din wan do tat too...

hehe.... ^_^
it's really a nice place ~ so good we have this course!

December 14, 2007 10:04 pm  

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