I have not updated in a few days due to being buried with student term papers, complaints, and life in general. I am going to conclude my findings from the first experiment and give a heads-up on where I am at with the second experiment.
In the first experiment I created a 2x2 experimental design. The design was outlined here: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,18283.msg180418.html#msg180418 and here http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,18283.msg180435.html#msg180435
and is diagrammed as:
SD Starter Flour + H20
Open containers in a Sample 1 Sample 2
Closed containers in a Sample 3 Sample 4
All samples were maintained for 10 days, and fed in 2 day intervals, to evaluate whether SD starters would change over time or if SD starters could takeover another starter.
In short, the results of the experiment found that Samples 1, 2, and 3 tasted identical after the 10 day period. Sample 4, however, developed in to a distinct starter with flavor characteristics not found in the other three starters. These results would suggest (1) that when properly maintained, mature starters are able to retain their original characteristics–over time–if they are fed on a frequent basis, (2) in a closed, and well humidified environment, SD starters are able to take over new starters which have not yet been established, (3) that new starters can be established in the presence of other active starters without worrying about a takeover, if the new starter is regularly fed and is isolated in its own container.
As recommended by Chau, I have started another experiment. For this experiment, I am retaining same 2x2 design. I have kept samples 1, 3 and 4 the same as above. Sample 2 was replaced with a sterilized vessel to which 50% of sample 4 was added during feeding and the other 50% was the same flour and water fed to the other three samples. I am going to keep the same 2 day feeding regiment over the next 6 days. I am currently at day 2, so there will be 8 days total. As of this morning, I have yet to find any notable changes in any of the starters.