Population Lab Notes

Predator-Prey Lab
Ecology studies organisms and
nonliving things and how they
interact with each other
Ecologists study ecosystems.
Ecosystem – all the organisms in a given
area, along with nonliving factors with which
they interact
Biotic factors – living
Abiotic factors - nonliving
Ecosystem Structure
Ecologists specialize and study one of these structures.
Population Ecology
Individuals in a population
Rely on the same resources
Are influenced by the same environmental factors
Are likely to interact and breed with one another
Population ecology is concerned with
Changes in population size
Factors that regulate populations over time
Populations are characterized by:
Predator-Prey Lab: Group of (5)
Create a habitat for mice and fox. Use beads and plastic container to create
the habitat.
Will be simulating a predator and prey relationship
Read instructions carefully.
Post Lab: Using expected data to analyze predator-prey
interactions within the community
Use the Sample Data Sheet and graph the results on the graph paper
provided by your teacher. Graph the initial prey population and the
initial predator population neatly and carefully.
Answer the questions 1-3 using the Sample Data:
1. Which population (predator/prey) shows the first increase in
numbers? Explain your answer.
2. Does a peak in the mice population come at the same time as,
after a peak or before a peak in the fox population? What is the
explanation for this?
3. What factor seems to determine the size of the mice population
in the meadow in any given generation? Fox population?
How does this lab relate to the situation in Australia with the Cane
Population Growth
Factors that affect population growth are called “population limiting”
Population limiting factors can be:
Density independent –
Density dependent -
Population Trends
Now complete Lab 4 “How can you show a population trend?
Complete Parts B, C and E

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