ERIC Number: EJ1003672
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
To Build an Ecosystem: An Introductory Lab for Environmental Science & Biology Students
Hudon, Daniel; Finnerty, John R.
American Biology Teacher, v75 n3 p186-192 Mar 2013
A hypothesis-driven laboratory is described that introduces students to the complexities of ecosystem function. Students work with live algae, brine shrimp, and sea anemones to test hypotheses regarding the trophic interactions among species, the exchange of nutrients and gases, and the optimal ratio of producers to consumers and predators in enclosed, artificial-seawater ecosystems. In the initial iteration of the activity, multiple ecosystems that differ in their composition of organisms are assembled according to simple recipes by individual students or small lab groups. Two weeks later, the ecosystems are deconstructed, and the students tally the organisms and assess key water-quality measures, including salinity, pH, and ammonia levels. Some sample data and results are presented, as well as tips for successful implementation.
Descriptors: Ecology, Biology, Science Activities, Science Instruction, Science Laboratories, Scientific Concepts, Teaching Methods, Marine Biology, Oceanography
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A