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  • 1. RiparianZone Retreat and population studies Ashton Burns Biology II Period 1

2. 3. Niche of a Fisher Martes pennanti

  • Habitat
  • Live in heavily wooded areas with tall canopy closure.
  • Tend to live in areas with many hollow tress in which they make their dens
  • Food
  • Fishers usually eat small herbivores including mice and hares.
  • If necessary these animals are able to go after prey larger than themselves
  • Also eats fruits and nuts
  • Depend on the health of plants, if there is a lack of plants the fisher will have less prey and not survive


  • Hunting Habits
  • Hunts for animals that are relative to their size
  • Able to elongate to go into small spaces such as holes and hollow trees
  • Has five toes and claws to help with hunting
  • Other
  • Agile in trees
  • Dark brown coloring to help camouflage

5. Factors which Affect Birth Rate of a fisher

  • Mate in late winter or early spring
  • Fishers reproduce once a year
  • Gestation period is 11-12 months
  • A litter may be anywhere from 1-6, the average number is about 3
  • Males do not help raise the young. Females protect the young and nurse for 8 weeks. Young occasionally nurse for up to four months.
  • Males are able to reproduce at age 2 while females are able to reproduce by age 1 (birth of the first liter comes at age 2). Once the organism is able to reproduce they continue to reproduce every year

6. Factors Which Affect the Death Rate of Assigned Animal

  • Do not participate in any symbiotic relationships
  • Fishers usually hunt small prey such as mice and rabbits
  • Young fishers are at risk for predation from hawks, foxes, and bobcats
  • Live approximately 10 years
  • Parasites that can harm this organism are tics and fleas. If these parasites attach to the organism it may result in death of the organism.
  • When there is an over population of the fisher, the organisms will have to begin to compete for shelter and prey in order to survive.

7. Food Chain of a fisher! Producer Autotroph Primary Consumer Omnivore Secondary Consumer Omnivore Tertiary Consumer Omnivore 8. Food web of Fisher Herbivore Decomposer Omnivore Carnivore Producer Carnivore Onmivore Omnivore Producer 9. Population Sampling Techniques

  • Mark recapture entails capturing a species and using a specific indicator in order to mark the organism. By doing this, one is able to keep tract of the organisms captured and new organisms found.
  • Population sampling uses a small sample for the entire population by taking in account of the size of the area the sample is being taken from and the diversity of organisms in the area.
  • One of the most effective method would probably be

10. Stream Quality Data & Analysis

  • The stream conditions described in the graph indicates good water quality. Most of the organisms were found to be in Class I and the least amount were found in Class III.
  • Class I organisms can only live in good water quality. Only a few of the Class III organisms were found which live in poor water quality.

Classes of Organisms Found Class 11. Stream Quality Data & Analysis

  • If the stream conditions were not good and there were not many Class I organisms, there would be a lower food supply for organisms that the fisher would consume. Also, this the drinking water is healthy for the fisher.
  • The fisher would be directly effected because the drinking water would be poor. Indirectly it would be effect because this could cause a lack of food supply for the fisher. Many Class III organisms could effect the entire ecosystem because of the drinking water quality and animals that consume the organisms found in good water quality.

12. Water Testing Data & Analysis

  • Having Nitrates and Phosphates in the water system is not desirable. Traces of these in the water can kill all life in the stream. Organisms could not live in the marsh because of the high Nitrate levels. The Phosphate level was zero in the mine and the stream; therefore, didnt have an impact. The marsh did have phosphates for our group; therefore, could not support life.
  • The oxygen level in the stream was the best for organisms to leave. The mine water and marsh had low amounts of oxygen that are not ideal for supporting life.
  • The mine water is too acidic for many organisms.The pH of the marsh and stream were pretty neutral.

Water Testing Components Amount present 13. Water Testing Data & Analysis

  • The ideal ranges for the stream are:
  • pH- 6.5 to 7.5Phosphates- 0 ppm
  • Nitrate- 0 ppm Oxygen- 0 ppm
  • The ideal area for the fisher is at the stream. The conditions are ideal for the organism and the ecosystem. Healthy water provides good water for the fishers prey. If the fisher tried to live by the mine and the marsh, the drinking water wouldnt be sufficient and the prey of the fisher could not survive.
  • If the turbidity is high the sunlight cant penitrate through the water, it inhibits animals to see their prey and doesnt allow organisms to cling to the rocks. The colder the water temperature the more oxygen that is produced. It is ideal to have a lower temperature.

14. Soil Testing & Analysis

  • pH- the pH helps the plants properly utilize nutrients
  • Potash- stimulates flowering, needed for photosynthesis for make sugars
  • Phosphorus- most important nutrient in the roots, helps to hasten maturity
  • Nitrogen- essential for proper functioning of the plants metabolism, gives plants their dark green color

Soil Testing Nutrients Amount present 15. Soil Testing & Analysis

  • Ideal Ranges
  • ph- 6to 8
  • Nitrates, Potash, Phosphorous- medium
  • If the amount of these components are not in ideal range then the plants will not have the full potential to grow properly. This will effect the amount of plants that grow and reproduce, which ultimately effects the ecosystem by providing less food for other organisms. This could also lower the amount of oxygen that the plants produce.

16. Positive and Negative Factors

  • The current health of the stream is good for the fisher. The marsh and the mine are not in good condition for the fisher. If this water would happen to contaminate the stream water supply this could be bad for the fisher.
  • If the soil conditions are not ideal this affects the amount of plants and berries that are avialable for the fisher to consume. This also creates less food for the fishers prey.

17. Positive and Negative Factors

  • Keeping watersheds and wastes out of the water is a positive factor. Also having regulations on what can be done in the environment can be a positive factor.
  • In this area acid mine drainage can have a very negative effect on the water supply. This water has a low pH, contains a white precipitate and kills all stream life, this precipitate also makes it hard for organisms to cling to rocks and it can clog the gills of organisms. AMD decreases the amount of diversity and numbers of macroinvertebrates and fish.
  • Other negative factors are farm runoff, pollution, turbidity, and high temperatures
  • An active treatment is to add chemicals to neutralize the acid and iron. Passive treatment includes limestone treatments which neutralizes the acidity and wetlands which collect iron precipitate in a series of ponds.

18. Conclusion

  • A new thing that I have learned the is how big of an impact that the soil and water supply can have on the ecosystem. I didnt realize that having some of the components in the stream or soil can make it desirable for plants and animals or could make the area unlivable.
  • Something that I found interesting is the information on the fisher. I didnt know much about the fisher before I started this project.
  • An environmental factor that I would like to research further is things that I can do to maintain the health of the environment

19. Works Cited Title of Article- Martes pennanti Name of Website- Animal Diversity Website Address-http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Martes_pennanti.html Date of Website Updated- 1995-2008 Ellarson, Robert S. "Fisher."Encyclopedia Americana . 2009. Grolier Online. 8 May 2009 ."The Weasel Family."New Book of Popular Science . 2009. Grolier Online. 8 May 2009 .