Would you expect endangered species to be more frequently generalists or specialists...

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Biology 102/103
Lab 7: Ecological Interactions
INSTRUCTIONS
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Answer Sheet electronically and submit it via the
Assignments Folder by the date listed in the Course
Schedule (under Syllabus).
To conduct your laboratory exercises, use the
Laboratory Manual located under Course Content. Read
the
introduction
and
the
directions
for
each
exercise/experiment carefully before completing the
exercises/experiments and answering the questions.
Save your Lab 7 Answer Sheet in the following
format: LastName_Lab7 (e.g., Smith_Lab7).
You should submit your document as a Word (.doc
or.docx) or Rich Text Format (.rtf) file for best compatibility.
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Pre-Lab Questions
1. Would you expect endangered species to be more
frequently generalists or specialists? Explain your
answer.
2.
How does temperature affect water availability in an
ecosystem?
3.
Choose a species and describe some adaptations that
species developed that allow them to survive in their
native habitat.
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Experiment 1: Effects of pH on Radish Seed
Germination
Data Tables and Post-Lab Assessment
Table 1: pH and Radish Seed Germination
Stage/Day
Observation
s
Initial pH
Acetic Acid
Sodium
Bicarbonate
Water
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
Post-Lab Questions
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1.
Compare and construct a line graph based on the data
from Table 1 in the space below. Place the day on the x
axis, and the number of seeds germinated on the y axis.
Be sure to include a title, label the x and y axes, and
provide a legend describing which line corresponds to
each plate (e.g., blue = acetic acid, green = sodium
bicarbonate, etc).
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2.
Was there any noticeable effect on the germination rate
of the radish seeds as a result of the pH? Compare and
contrast the growth rate for the control with the alkaline
and acidic solutions.
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3.
According to your results would you say that the radish
has a broad pH tolerance? Why or why not? Use your
data to support your answer.
4.
Knowing that acid rain has a pH of 2 - 3 would you
conclude that crop species with a narrow soil pH range
are in trouble? Explain why, or why not, using scientific
reasoning. Is acid rain a problem for plant species and
crops?
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5.
Research and briefly describe a real world example
about how acid rain affect plants. Be sure to
demonstrate how pH contributes to the outcome, and
proposed solutions (if any). Descriptions should be
approximately 2 - 3 paragraphs. Include at least three
citations (use APA formatting).
Additional Information
Learning Objectives
Define ecology as interactio
amongst organisms and the
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environment
Analyze the effects of abiot
biotic factors in an ecosyste
Assess how generalists and
specialists define habit tole
Introduction
Figure 1: Note
the relationship
between an
organism
populations
communities and
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ecosystems.
Ecology is the
scientific study
of both the
interactions
among
organisms and
the interactions
between
organisms and
their
environment. It
is an
interdisciplinary
field that blends
Earth science
evolutionary
biology and
general biology.
Ecology
explores the
adaptations of
organisms, the
distribution of
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organisms and
biodiversity.
Ecology can be
divided into
different levels
or categories.
Ecosystem
ecology looks
at the big
picture. It
focuses on the
cycling of
chemicals and
the energy flow
within an
ecosystem.
Ecosystem
ecology
includes all the
abiotic factors
and species
within an
ecosystem.
Community
ecology is
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concerned with
the interactions
between
species and
how those
interactions
affect the
structure and
organization of
the community.
As the name
implies
population
ecology is
concerned with
populations. A
population is a
group of
individuals of
the same
species living in
the same area.
Population
ecology focuses
on factors that
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affect
population
density and
growth.
Ecology of
organisms, or
organismal
ecology, is the
study of
individual
organisms and
the adaptations
that have
enabled them to
survive in their
abiotic
environments.
Abiotic and
Biotic Factors
Environments
encompass
abiotic and
biotic
components.
Abiotic
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components
include the
physical and
chemical
aspects.
Physical factors
that affect an
ecosystem
include sunlight
temperature
water currents
wind, nature of
soil, latitude
and altitude.
Chemical
factors include
available
nutrients (in soil
or water), water
salinity, toxicity
concentrations
and water
levels in soil.
Biotic
components
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refer to the
living factors in
an environment
and include the
producers
consumers and
decomposers.
Producers are
the organisms
that convert
inorganic
material to
organic
substances.
Plants are an
example of a
producer. By
converting
sunlight
and carbon
dioxide to
carbohydrates
they are
producing food
for the
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consumers.
Consumers and
decomposers
are completely
dependent on
producers for
nourishment.
Since plants are
an important
producer, it
follows that
sunlight powers
nearly all
ecosystems
(aquatic and
terrestrial).
Figure 2
Creatures have
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learned to thrive
in a variety of
extreme
environments
such as the
desert climate
pictured above.
Organisms
have adapted
and evolved
anatomical
physiological
and behavioral
characteristics
that
compensate for
variation within
the
environment.
The blending of
ecology and
evolutionary
biology is
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probably most
evident when
examining
organismal
ecology. In this
way, the
environment
shapes the
organisms.
Habitat
Tolerance
Adaptations
that organisms
have developed
allow them to
compensate for
minimal
temporal and
spatial variation
within their
environment.
This is
accomplished
for example, by
regulating body
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temperature or
controlling the
rate at which
water is
transpired.
Nevertheless
there are limits
to an
organisms
ability to
compensate for
environmental
factors. No
single species
can tolerate all
of Earths
environments.
The geographic
distribution of a
species is thus
limited by the
physical
environment.
That is, species
distribution is
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limited by an
environments
abiotic factors.
Figure 3
Dandelion
(Taraxicum
officionale)species like the
dandelion are
very common
and show no
aspects of rarity
making them
very common
handling a broad
range of
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tolerances.
Although living
organisms are
found all over
the planet, all
species have a
defined habitat
tolerance
assigning a
viable range of
environmental
conditions. For
example, some
plant species
can tolerate a
broad range of
soil variability
while others are
confined to a
single soil type.
If a species has
a narrow habitat
tolerance
because of one
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or more abiotic
factors, then
they are limited
in their
distribution
range. Species
with a broad
range of
tolerance are
usually
distributed
widely, whereas
those with a
narrow range
have more
restricted
distribution.
Species can be
categorized as
specialists or
generalists.
Specialist
species are
those that have
a limited diet or
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cannot tolerate
a wide range of
environmental
conditions.
Consider a
cactus. A cactus
has a limited
tolerance for
soil conditions
water levels
and
temperatures.
Generalists, on
the other hand
have a wider
range of
tolerance for
environmental
conditions and
diet. For
example
omnivores are
typically
generalists
whereas
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herbivores tend
to be
specialists.
Interestingly
invasive
species are
frequently
generalists.
Habitat
tolerance along
with a species
geographic
range (limited
vs. widespread)
and its local
population size
(large vs. small)
determines a
species
commonness or
rarity. These
classifications
can be very
significant to
industries such
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as agricultural
production and
wildlife
management.
As mentioned
above, the
environment
shapes the
organisms.
What is the
effect of
organisms on
the
environment?
Environmental
changes are
influenced by
the organisms
that inhabit that
environment. In
this way
organisms
shape the
environment. A
change in
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species
distribution can
modify
interactions
within the
environment.
The loss of a
native species
or the invasion
of a non-native
species can
alter the
survival of other
organisms
within the
environment.
Therefore
control of
invasive
species and
conservation of
endangered
species are
important to
maintain the
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balance of the
entire system.
Experiment 1: Effects of
pH on Radish Seed
Germination
Natural soil pH depends on the
parent rock material from which it
was formed and processes like
climate. Soil pH is a measure of the
acidity or alkalinity of the soil. Acidic
soils are considered to have a 5.0 or
lower pH value whereas 10.0 or
above is considered a strong basic
or alkaline soil. The pH of soil affects
the solubility of nutrients in soil
water and thus it affects the amount
of nutrients available for plant
uptake. Different nutrients are
available under differing pH
conditions.
In this experiment we will look at the
effect of pH on the germination and
growth rate of radish seeds in order
to determine the range of pH
tolerance for the seed. Acidic or
basic water will be used in order to
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stimulate acidity or alkalinity in soil.
Materials
2 mL 4.5% Acetic
Acid (Vinegar)
C2H4O2
Permanent Marker
(3) 5 cm Petri
Dishes
3 pH Test Strips
Radish Seed
Packet
Ruler
2 mL 15%
Saturated Sodium
Bicarbonate
(Baking
Soda) Solution
NaHCO
*
Sheets (cut to fit
into the petri dish)
*
*
*
*You Must Provide
Procedure
1. Use the
permanent
marker to label
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2.
3.
the top of each of
the three petri
dishes as Acetic
Acid, Sodium
Bicarbonate, or
Water.
Carefully cut
three small
circles from the
paper towel
sheets. The
circles should
comfortably fit
within the bottom
of the petri dish.
Place the circles
in the dishes, and
wet them with
approximately 2
mL of each
respective
solution (acetic
acid, sodium
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4.
5.
6.
bicarbonate, or
water).
Gently press the
reaction pad of
three, pH test
strips onto the
wet paper towels.
Record your data
in the first row of
Table 1.
Arrange 10 radish
seeds on each
paper towel in
each petri dish.
Make sure the
seeds have
space and are
not touching.
Then, place the
top of the petri
dish on the
bottom.
Place the petri
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7.
dishes in a sunny
or well-lit, warm
place. Be sure to
keep the paper
towels moist for
the length of the
experiment with
the appropriate
solution if any of
the towels dry
out.
Observe the
seeds daily for
seven days, and
record the
number of seeds
that germinate in
Table 1. Note
when the seeds
crack and roots
or shoots
emerge). On the
seventh day
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record the
lengths of radish
seed sprouts
(mm or cm).
Table 1: pH and Radish Seed Germination
Day and Initial
pH
Acetic Acid
Sodium
Bicarbonate
Initial pH
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5
Day 6
Day 7
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Solution ID:350965 | This paper was updated on 26-Nov-2015

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