Living in an Alkaline Environment

Part One: How different is Mono Lake water from Distilled water?

Visit the activity stations as directed by your teacher. Use the following observation table to record your results and then answer the questions based on knowledge acquired from this experience. You may write the answers on your own sheet of paper or download (Microsoft Word 32kB Apr21 05) this page in the form of a Word document.

Observation Table

Observation Table

  1. Why might organisms adapted to living in a typical pond, lake, or river experience Mono Lake as an extreme environment?

  2. Could a human survive if all he/she had to drink were Mono Lake water? Why or why not?

  3. How could you tell that the Mono Lake water chemically changed the egg white's proteins?

  4. If Mono Lake water changes proteins and causes cells to shrivel, what kinds of adaptations might help a single-celled microbe survive in Mono Lake?

  5. Soil contains many different kinds of microbes. Predict what would happen if soil microbes were grown under neutral conditions (pH=7), slightly alkaline (basic) conditions (pH=8), and very alkaline conditions (pH=10).
    • Neutral:

    • Slightly Alkaline

    • Very Alkaline