Temple University main campus is an urban environment located in North Philadelphia. On the surface one might see herds of students and staff moving throughout the campus in and out of buildings with little attention to their surroundings. What most people do not notice is the wide array of natural processes that are taking place. Nature is seen in almost every corner of the campus! Many different types of plants along with small mammals can be seen as you walk around, all with multiple functions that allow them to survive.
||Seed pods (form)
||Squirrel kidney/ mammalian kidney (process/system)
||Water collecting leaves (form)
||Large stalk/trunk of plants for storage (form)
|Transportation of materials
||Light seedlings/ berries, nuts (system)
|Protection from biota
||Sharp edge plants (form)
||Poison berries/ plant material (process)
||Hydrophobic leaf surface (process)
||Large stalks on plants (form)
||grass/soil systems (process)
|Protection from abiotic factors (i.e., weather)
||Dense under-brush (form)
Seed pods: Seed pods provide a great example of packaging in nature. Each seed, whether packaged by its self or with others, is secure and protected from outside forces. This packaging system also allows for transportation safely to new locations.
Nuts: Nuts serve multiple purposes in a natural environment. They are first good for packaging seeds in many cases. They also provide a structure for transportation along with a food source.
Soils: Soils provide a complex system fro filtering water. This is not only the soil, but the micro-organisms that live within the soil. At the same time the soil provides a source for water storage along with a habitat for many creatures.
Squirrel: The squirrel is a curious small mammal that lives throughout the Temple University campus. Being a mammal it has one of the most sophisticated filtration devices in its body, the mammalian kidney. This structure can also be used as a cleaning device for bodily fluids, filtering out all the harmful things in the bodily fluids
Water Collection leaves: Many of the leaves seen in plants throughout this habitat are useful for collecting water. This allows for the plant to acquire the water needed to ensure survival.
Large stalk/trunk of plants: These storage systems for water and nutrients are crucial for survival. They allow water to be stored for later use and also allow for the transportation of nutrients throughout the plant.
Light seedlings/berries: Along with nuts and seed pods. Light seedlings are imperative to dispersal of plant materials. Many seedlings like the ones seen below are able to dispersed by slight wind which allows for long distance dispersal without a drain on resources.
Sharp edge plants: This allows for protection for the plant itself against organisms, such as humans, which can cause harm. This also provides protection for other organisms such as small mammals fleeing large predators.
Dangerous plant materials: This a main feature for protection against biotic factors. If the plant is dangerous to the predator, then the predator is more likely to choose another source of food. Things such as berries and fungi are often poisonous to other biota.
Hydrophobic leaf surface: this surface is interesting because ideally plants need water to survive. That being said, excessive amounts of water can be detrimental to plant structure because of the weight the plant muse bare. This would also allow for the water to clean the leaf surface as it rolls off.
Fungi: This organism can be protective as well as destructive. For very small things, fungi serves as a roof like structure to hide from things such as weather. Although this is true, many fungi have cause a adverse reaction to animals eating them. Some fungi are poisons and cause very serious illnesses.
Dense Under-brush: This provides a large protective area from abiotic factors such as weather. It also provides protection from biotic factors such as predators. This type of protection(form) is particularly useful for small organisms
**information for part three is located on Paul’s blog.