1. List five environments where you are likely to find microbial growth:
Lakes, soil, oceans, tundras, deserts
2. How do microbes contribute to soil fertility?
The decomposition that microbes take part in help release mineral nutrients, such as potassium and nitrogen, from dead organic matter and allowing primary producers the nutritional access. They also produce CO2 and CH4 to release into the soil and atmosphere.
3. Describe the growth you observed in each of your samples:
Soil: I chose an area of soil outside of my apartment to do my soil sample. I noticed that there were a few prominent growth in this dish. The majority of them seemed to grow in a snowflake shape and were mainly white. Whether they were different types of microbes or just one, I am not sure. There was one growth that had a black center and a white border that was shaped like a snowflake.
Air: I left the dish uncovered in my kitchen and the growth was interesting. I noticed that there were three distinct microbial growths that were prominent along with a small smattering of white along the petri dish. There was one growth that was a dark grey colour with a mottled appearance, another that was a white colour with a mottled appearance, and finally one that was a tan colour with a bubbly appearance.
Water: There is a small and very stale pond near my house that I took the water sample from. This was by far the most disgusting of the three observations. The growth I observed looked like a very dark Picasso painting. There was a black coloured colony that had a fuzzy appearance, there was a dark green coloured colony that looked wrinkled and somewhat mottled, there was a colony with a black center and white surrounding it with a wispy appearance, and there was a white colony with a very feathery appearance.
4. What were the differences between the growths in each plate? The similarities?
The differences in the growth plates is that each of the three