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BEHAVIORAL RESPONSES OF UNITARY AND MOULAR ORGANISM TO

THE ENVIRONMENTAL PERTUBATION

1BIO150 student, BS Biology, Institute of Biological Sciences, College of Arts and

Sciences, UPLB

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

Ants could be found everywhere except to the places that have low

temperatures. They are sheltered mostly in underground, and some are in plants

and trees, and in wood structures. Ants live in the most compact soil. They

excavate beneath the surface of tortuous galleries that intersect one another and

often penetrate to a depth of a foot or two. They are obliged to abandon when the

rains become abundant and continuous. In Table 1.3a, the behaviour of the ants

was observed under undisturbed conditions by placing tuna flakes in a piece of

paper. Ants behaviours that were observed is crawling of ants towards to the

tuna flakes that took 10.53s, resting for 1.99s, and spending 14.1s in tuna flakes

before they leave that piece of paper.

After the test under undisturbed conditions, in Table 1.3b, the behaviour of

the ants under undisturbed conditions was also observed by stimulating natural

disturbances in their habitat such as spraying water, strong wind through fan, and

having a fire. Based on the experiment, ants were able to stop or paused

whatever they are doing for 5.40s when they are sprayed with water. The
encounter of ants with the strong wind through fan took 7.30s, making them to

move away. Lastly, in the presence of fire or any high temperature matter, the

ants were able to blown away by means of wind, or they move themselves away

from that fire that took them for 14.0s.

Basically, ant colonies display fascinating behaviours that combine

efficiency with both flexibility and robustness. They have the ability to modulate

their behaviour on the basis of the processing of many sensory inputs. Ants are

capable to organize the behaviour of the whole colony and communicate with

one another through presence of pheromones, a hormonal chemical they

secretes (Bewer,1988). Ants secrete pheromones for attraction to the other, for

danger signal detection, and for giving them a direction. Ants can determine the

concentration of the pheromone, and thus determine the proximity of the source

of danger. According to Studd (1997), the cohesiveness and organization of the

complex ant communities could maintain by the secretion of pheromone. A

releaser effect will produce which induces a quick response and may be used

to tell other ants to evacuate a dangerous area.

In Table 1.4b, the food reference of the ant was observed based on the

number of workers recruited to the food source for the first five minutes. Based

on the table, it could be seen that ants do not respond to the salt, and noticed

that powdered energy drink has the greatest number of visited ants than white

sugar. However, it could also be seen that ants took longer time to notice first the

white sugar than powdered energy drink. According to the research, some ants
are responded to the salt solution as a supplement in their diet, like Selenopsis

sp., but mostly ants attracted to sugars that can be source of their energy. In the

experiment, it is possible that ants already produce a stronger traiI for the other

ants to find that food source.

Animal responses are more complex. Animals that depend upon

environmental heat are poikilothermic. Being poikilotherms, they regulate body

temperatures behaviourally by moving in and out of warmer and cooler areas

(Smith and Smith, 2009). Ant body temperature will increase with higher soil

temperature, increase their metabolic activity levels, thus causing them to

emerge from the hole.

As seen in the Table 1.5a, the responses of Alternanthera and Kyllingia

were observed under quantitative and qualitative conditions. The influence of

light on ecosystem goes beyond photosynthesis that could affect the distribution

of plants within the communities, aquatic and terrestrial, by its intensity and

spectral qualities. In the experiment, two sun plants, Alternanthera and Kyllingia,

were used to identify the behaviour of a shade intolerant plants when placed in a

low light intensity. Two shaded plants, Zebrina and Talinum, were also used to

observe when placed in a high light intensity.

Height and herbivore damage was quantitatively measured and monitored

for about two weeks. At the start of the experiment, the heights of controlled and

Alternanthera transplant were measured 85cm and 77cm respectively. Both

Alternanthera plants grow with 125cm and 100cm two weeks after. Both
controlled and transplant Kyllingia, however, were measured 135cm respectively.

Controlled Kyllingia grows into 140cm while transplant Kyllingia does not change

its measured height after two weeks. For quantifying of herbivore damage

computed by the

following:


% =

, controlled Alternanthera has 10% damage that decreases into 1% after

two weeks while transplant Alternanthera obtained 2% damage that increases

into 5%. Controlled Kyllingia has 20% that remained after two weeks, and

transplant Kyllingia decreases from 30% to 3%.

Also, the green coloration and turgidity of the leaf were observed in both

controlled and transplant Alternanthera and Kyllingia. Both plants, controlled and

transplant, have a turgid leaves at the start of the experiment. After two weeks,

the Kyllingia transplant changed its turgidity while the controlled one remains the

same. For the observed green coloration, Alternanthera and Kyllingia darkened

when environmental condition changed. They are both growing well and appear

brightly when their leaves are exposed fully to the sun. In the experiment,

Alternanthera and Kyllingia transplants grow slowly due to the insufficient amount

of sunlight received upon placing in another environment, and green coloration

increases, yet slower than controlled plants. According to Bewer (1988), the

relationship between the availability of light and rate of photosynthesis varies

among plants. Shade intolerant plants, Alternanthera and Kyllingia, may respond
to lower intensities by growing rapidly in height, increasing their leaf area in an

attempt to emerge from the shade. This rapid growth rate and their relatively thin

leaves make them highly susceptible to drought. Under high light intensities of

the sun plants have a both a high rate of photosynthesis and a high rate of

respiration and rapidly convert photosynthetate into biomass. Moreover, Smith

(1990) stated that leaves reflect water stress in plants. Some appear wilted

caused by a lack of turgor in the leaves. More significant response is the closure

of the stomata. It reduces the transpirational loss of water that would increase the

internal temperature of the leaves. Stomatal closure reduces CO 2 diffusion into

the leaf. It results in reduced growth and smaller plants, leaves, buds, and other

parts (Kramer, 1983). Severe drought decreases photosynthesis, causes leaves

to turn yellow, and can result in premature shedding of leaves and even death.

In Table 1.5b, Zebrina and Talinum responses such as growth, presence

of herbivore damage and leaf turgidity, were measured and observed for two

weeks. The height of the controlled Zebrina grows from 180cm with internode

growth to 250cm. Also, Zebrina transplant grows slower from 145cm with 35cm

internode to 165cm with 92cm internode growth. However, Talinum transplant

grows faster than its controlled with 49cm to 89cm after two weeks. Controlled

Talinum does not obtained change with 29cm height. For the turgidity, both

controlled and transplant Zebrina and Talinum have a turgid leaf at the start of

the experiment. But both controlled Zebrina and Talinum change its turgidity after

two weeks.
Based on the experiment, shade tolerant plants grow quickly when they

are not exposed to the sun, yet they obtain a lower rate of herbivore damage.

Leaves of shade tolerant plants have photosynthetic properties different from

those leaves grown in high intensity of light. Shade plants are highly susceptible

to light induced damage to their photosynthetic apparatus. Zebrina and Talinum

have lower rate of leaf respiration and a lower light compensation point than the

sun plants. Smith and Smith (2009) stated that shade tolerant plants are

characterized by increased chlorophyll per unit of leaf weight and increased leaf

area per unit weight invested to the shoot biomass. They also have lower

photosynthetic, respiration, metabolic, and growth rates than sun plants, so they

conserve nutrient and energy reserves.

Furthermore, Bewer (1988) discussed that heat affects the physiological

process of the plants, especially photosynthesis; various phases of balancing the

input of heat by radiation, convection, and transpiration. Stomatal closing to

reduce loss of water under drought conditions increases the internal temperature

of the leaves. Leaves exposes to the sun may be smaller and thinner than those

in shade. Also, drought promotes outbreaks of leaf-eating insects by influencing

thermal and nutritional conditions in plants in favour of insect growth.