Field trip to Puerto Pollenca, Mallorca
Our second year students attended a field trip in April, to the town of Puerto Pollenca, in North-East Mallorca as part of the BSc Biology/Zoology module "Field Biology" (5BY510).
The module explains how plants and animals are specifically adapted to the Mediterranean environment, as an introduction and background to the main aim, which is to offer training in practical field techniques for ecological studies, in the stunning setting of spring Mallorca. This way, students have the opportunity to discover how organisms are adapted to their environment, and how they are integrated into that particular system.
Of the six full days spent in Mallorca, the first three are spent with set exercises where students investigate, for example, how snails deal with the day's heat, how ant-lions are adapted to catch their prey or how pollinators are attracted to different flower types. Additionally, the students also visit the Natural Park S’Albufera, a marshland that hosts a large community of wetland birds, terrapins, frogs, orchids and mosquitos. During the last three days, students investigate in groups of two, a ecological question that they developed themselves. They collect the data, using appropriate field methods, and later analyse the data and write a report.
Some of the projects included for example were, the dimensions of spiders’ orb webs; differences in populations of the European Wall gecko and the Mediterranean House gecko; emergence times of different butterfly species depending on their wing colour and wing span; size characteristics of specific plant species along an environmental gradient.