03.25.2020 – Wednesday –
Left side of today’s science notebook.
“Cycles in nature and LIFE!”
(Remember, as always, to define any CAPITALIZED terms or phrases with which you are unfamiliar.)
I. Current Events: Three (3) notes on the Hawaii https://www.cnn.com/cnn10
II. There are three notes today because we’ve been studying the ROCK CYCLE and there’s a good illustration of part of the cycle showing lava in Hawaii that solidifies into IGNEOUS ROCK.
A. If you notice pictures of Hawaii (or have visited Hawaii) you notice life growing everywhere. But, seeds can’t take root in hard, igneous rock. It’s like in the Sierra Nevada Mountains when you hike along smooth GRANITE and see that there are not many places for seeds to GERMINATE; yet there are forests and plants in the high Sierra. How do plants and trees get established in such a harsh environment?
III. The WATER CYCLE, powered by our sun, causes water to EVAPORATE from the oceans and rain (which is slightly ACIDIC) helps break down rock.
A. Freezing water also breaks down rock because water EXPANDS as it freezes and helps push apart large rocks, making smaller rocks.
B. LICHENS are a PIONEER SPECIES. Lichens are found on rocks even around our school campus. Many people hardly notice them. They look like little “splotches” on rock, concrete, and tree trunks. They are actually a combination of ALGAE or BACTERIA and they are living in SYMBIOSIS with FUNGI. They live together for mutual benefit and they release an ACID that breaks down rock and helps make soil. This is why they are called a PIONEER SPECIES: they are often the first life to “move into” and area after a GLACIER has moved through or LAVA has solidified.
IV. Once LICHENS and rain/ice have broken down the hard rocks that were left by the volcano or glacier, small plants can get established and, as they grow, their roots will further break down the rock until larger trees and forests gain a foothold and become established.
V. On the right side of today’s notes – brainstorm all the ways life may have reached the Hawaiian Islands. Think about how they are, geographically, the most remote island chain in the world. How did they become a green haven for life?