This week we drove back to Mount Tamalpais and continued to look at different variations of Mimulus gutatus. We left campus around 1pm and we met at a spot on the mountain where there were streams of fresh water coming from pipes on the side of a cliff. The weather was nice – very sunny and hot at the first location, then shady but warm at the second one (Around 85 F).
You can tell from these pictures that the most abundant areas with the plants were in the wet areas from the water coming from the pipes. Last time we went to Mount Tam Prof. Paul told us that Mimulus like to “keep their feet wet” and this was proof of that.
After we looked around at this spot we drove over to a little hiking area that leads to Muir Woods. There weren’t a lot of Mimulus plants here but we did see a couple individuals.
The picture on the right shows an individual that may not survive to the next generation because they seem like they wouldn’t be hit by water that comes from the creek so it may not have the chance to flower. When we were over here we talked a bit about sink populations and census sizes / effective population sizes – (topics we had touched on in class).
Sink populations –> death rates exceed birth rates (leads to eventual loss and maybe extinction)
Census size / effective population size –> number of individuals needed to have a quantity of interest that is the same in the idealized population as in the real population
After hiking and discussing, we went back to campus around 4:30 pm.