Population Lab Notes

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Ecology
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
Community
Population
Species
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:

Density

Dispersion
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
Toads?
Population Growth

Factors that affect population growth are called “population limiting”
factors.

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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