Writing with Scientists

Daniel, Arizona
Grade 7, Age 12

Daniel’s report about the ecosystem of a “wash” won a 2005 Young Naturalist Award.

In this excerpt, notice how Daniel presents and analyzes his results.


The Pantano Wash: Investigating an Ecosystem

Plants seem to grow well in the Top Level of the wash. The floods never reach this level, so the plants are safe from uprooting. The plants here get most of their water from the rains. In the Upper Level, plants also seem to grow very well. I think that this results from several factors: the soil is not rocky, the roots of the larger plants are able to get water from the lower levels, and the floodwater rarely reaches this level, so they are safe from uprooting. The plants that grow in the Lower Level are smaller and grow farther apart. I think that this is because the water reaches here more often then the higher levels and is sometimes high enough to kill off some of the plants in this level. The plants then have to start growing all over again until the next flood. Hardly any plants at all grow in the Bottom Level. The soil here is too rocky for plants to survive in, and when any water at all comes down through this layer, it kills any new seedlings that somehow managed to survive in the rocks.

Learn more about Daniel and his report.