Environmental Science Simulation Lab Report

 Environmental Science Simulation Lab Report

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 Environmental Science Simulation Lab Report

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BEFORE YOU BEGIN: Review, in depth, the document in “General Course Information” titled “How to Write Your Lab Report”. In addition, review BEFORE YOU BEGIN: Review, in depth, the document in “General Course Information” titled “How to Write Your Lab Report”. In addition, review the examples provided, and make use of the template that is found in that area. In order to be considered complete, all lab reports must include the required five sections (intro, objectives, hypothesis, results, and discussion). And lastly, consider the depth and substance of the discussion sections in the examples provided. You are expected to include the same level of depth in your own discussion section.

Introduction

As you learned in the first lab (Rabbit/Wolves Simulation), ecosystems are a complex and delicate balancing game. The addition or removal of one species affects many other species with which it might compete for, or provide food. In this lab you will get a chance to “build your own” ecosystem, and explore the effects of these interrelationships.

The model you will be using for this lab is similar to the Wolves/Rabbits model you used in Chapter 1. However, it is significantly more complex with more variables that can be manipulated to impact the ecosystem.

Your primary objective is to see how big you can make your food web and still have all of the species you add survive through the end of the simulation run. As you work through the lab, consider the many factors that may go into sustaining an ecosystem. Is there any way we can all get along and live side by side?

Materials

Food Web Model:

https://www.learner.org/wp-content/interactive/envsci/ecology/ecology.html?initLesson=1

Procedure:

Part 1: First you’ll run a less than “real-life” scenario. Choose only one organism from each trophic level and make sure that the food chain goes in a straight line from one trophic level to the next, i.e., Herbivore A eats Plant A, Omnivore A eats Herbivore A, and the Top Predator eats Omnivore A. Let Plant B survive on its own and see what happens. Predict whether each species will survive, and whether it will increase or decrease in number, as well as whether Plant B will survive to the end. Record your prediction in the Data Table and then run the simulation twice and record your data. Use X for “die out,” ↑ for “increase in numbers,” and ↓ for “decrease in numbers.” Answer the following:

Part 2: Now try a more “real-life” scenario and experiment with what might happen in an ecosystem that is more like a web. This time click the “all on” button. The model shows who eats whom and the paths by which energy is transferred. Predict which populations will die out, increase in numbers, or decrease in numbers and record your predictions. Run the simulation two more times and record the results in your Data Table. Then try to modify who eats whom in order to ensure the survival of all species and record what was changed in your chart.

Results Section

  1. Include the tables you created (by completing the “Data Collection Table”) and copying and pasting that completed table into your lab report. A reminder: The data collection table that has been provided is simply for data collection – you must paste it into the standard 5-section lab report format.

Discussion

  1. Were your predictions correct? How did you arrive at your prediction? What differences were there between your prediction and the simulation?
  2. What would happen to this imaginary ecosystem if the producers were to die out?
  3. Did any of the species increase in number? What could account for this increase? Which species decreased in number and what might account for this decrease?
  4. Which populations would benefit the most from the presence of decomposers?
  5. In part 2, were you able to modify the parameters so that each species survived? Explain how you decided what changes to make.
  6. Which way does energy flow and how does eating an organism result in energy transfer?

the examples provided, and make use of the template that is found in that area. In order to be considered complete, all lab reports must include the required five sections (intro, objectives, hypothesis, results, and discussion). And lastly, consider the depth and substance of the discussion sections in the examples provided. You are expected to include the same level of depth in your own discussion section.

Introduction

As you learned in the first lab (Rabbit/Wolves Simulation), ecosystems are a complex and delicate balancing game. The addition or removal of one species affects many other species with which it might compete for, or provide food. In this lab you will get a chance to “build your own” ecosystem, and explore the effects of these interrelationships.

The model you will be using for this lab is similar to the Wolves/Rabbits model you used in Chapter 1. However, it is significantly more complex with more variables that can be manipulated to impact the ecosystem.

Your primary objective is to see how big you can make your food web and still have all of the species you add survive through the end of the simulation run. As you work through the lab, consider the many factors that may go into sustaining an ecosystem. Is there any way we can all get along and live side by side?

Materials

Food Web Model:

https://www.learner.org/wp-content/interactive/envsci/ecology/ecology.html?initLesson=1

Procedure:

Part 1: First you’ll run a less than “real-life” scenario. Choose only one organism from each trophic level and make sure that the food chain goes in a straight line from one trophic level to the next, i.e., Herbivore A eats Plant A, Omnivore A eats Herbivore A, and the Top Predator eats Omnivore A. Let Plant B survive on its own and see what happens. Predict whether each species will survive, and whether it will increase or decrease in number, as well as whether Plant B will survive to the end. Record your prediction in the Data Table and then run the simulation twice and record your data. Use X for “die out,” ↑ for “increase in numbers,” and ↓ for “decrease in numbers.” Answer the following:

Part 2: Now try a more “real-life” scenario and experiment with what might happen in an ecosystem that is more like a web. This time click the “all on” button. The model shows who eats whom and the paths by which energy is transferred. Predict which populations will die out, increase in numbers, or decrease in numbers and record your predictions. Run the simulation two more times and record the results in your Data Table. Then try to modify who eats whom in order to ensure the survival of all species and record what was changed in your chart.

Results Section

  1. Include the tables you created (by completing the “Data Collection Table”) and copying and pasting that completed table into your lab report. A reminder: The data collection table that has been provided is simply for data collection – you must paste it into the standard 5-section lab report format.

Discussion

  1. Were your predictions correct? How did you arrive at your prediction? What differences were there between your prediction and the simulation?
  2. What would happen to this imaginary ecosystem if the producers were to die out?
  3. Did any of the species increase in number? What could account for this increase? Which species decreased in number and what might account for this decrease?
  4. Which populations would benefit the most from the presence of decomposers?
  5. In part 2, were you able to modify the parameters so that each species survived? Explain how you decided what changes to make.
  6. Which way does energy flow and how does eating an organism result in energy transfer?

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