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4.03 Ecosystems Lab Report

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by

Kelli Snellman

on 2 January 2014

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Transcript of 4.03 Ecosystems Lab Report

Purpose:
This lab has many purposes:
Analyze graphs to determine the carrying capacity of two marine species.
Explain how predation, birth, and death rates impact population size and carrying capacity of marine populations.
Describe how biotic and abiotic factors influence the carrying capacity of marine populations.
Prey Initial Size: The starting number of prey. (Assume that the seals have an unlimited amount of food.)

Prey Growth Rate: The birth rate of the prey. The larger the growth rate, the faster the prey population will increase.

Predator Initial Size: The starting number of predators.

Predator Death Rate: The death rate of the predators. A larger death rate means predators will die out quicker.

Capture Efficiency: This number represents the ability of the predator to capture the prey over some time interval. A larger value for this parameter means that the predators have a better chance of capturing prey.
Research Variable

Prediction 1: If the starting population of the prey is higher than the predators, the carrying capacity of the seals will be higher than the carrying capacity of the whales.

Prediction 2: If the starting population of the predators is higher than the prey, the carrying capacity of the whales will be higher than the carrying capacity of the seals.

Prediction 3: If the prey growth rate increases, the carrying capacity of the seals will be higher than the carrying capacity of the whales. (Both starting populations set to 25.)

Prediction 4: If the death rate of the whales increases, the carrying capacity of the seals will be higher than the carrying capacity of the whales. (Both starting populations set to 25.)
Hypotheses
1. The Population Dynamics Virtual Lab Activity
2. Population Dynamics Lab Report
Materials
The procedures are listed in Population Dynamics Virtual Lab Activity.
Procedures
Data and Observations
1. Using Table 1, which of the three trials produced the highest carrying capacity for both the whales and the seals? Why do you think this trial had the best outcome for the whale and seal populations?
Analysis and Conclusion
3. Climate change (an abiotic factor) has slowly decreased habitat for the arctic seals. Predict how a reduction in habitat could change the capture efficiency of the killer whales. How would this affect the carrying capacities for both the whales and the seals?
Analysis and Conclusion
5. In this lesson, you learned about two patterns of population growth and decline, the sigmoid and peak phenomena. Does the seal and killer whale relationship represent a sigmoid or peak phenomenon? Please provide supporting details.
Analysis and Conclusion
4.03 Ecosystems Lab Report

Table 1
Table 2
Growth Rate and Capture Efficiency
Table 3
Death Rate and Capture Efficiency
2. Using Table 2 and 3, explain how the birth rates of the seals and the death rates of the whales affected the carrying capacity for both whales and seals.
Trial 3 produced the highest carrying capacity for both the whales and the seals because the the whale population was significantly higher than the seal population and almost wiped out the seals. Without a food source, the whale population dropped. Since the seals still had a sustainable food source and the whales were no longer a large threat, they thrived with the small amount of predators and over time the seals increased to their peak until the whales rebounded and thrived since their food source was abundant. Then same as the beginning the whales had a high population with a small amount of its food source.
The whales are the predators of seals. If the death rate of whales is high then the population of seals will rise, especially if their birth rate is faster. Therefore the carrying capacity of seals will be higher than whales. With no different except birth rate in seals it will not drastically effect the carrying capacity, whales will still have a higher capacity.
Reduction in habitat will limit the population of seals, in result it will be harder for whales to find food, lowering their capture efficiency. This will effect both the carrying capacity of whales and seals. Seals carrying capacity will decrease based on their limited amount of land and because the seal population is lower than usual the whale carrying capacity should be lower.
4. If another source of prey were available to the whales, what changes in population size would you expect for the seals and the whales?
Since the whales are not only dependent on seals, when the whales increase in population they won't entirely deplete the seal population. In result a larger amount of whales will have the ability to populate. In result the seals will not have a higher population size then before, but the population will not be as unsustained.
The seal and killer whale relationship represents a peak phenomena because when seals are abundant the whale population booms and then it bursts when the seal population can't keep up and it falls. In result the whale population falls,without predators the seal population rises again along with the whales and repeats the process.
6. What are the limitations of the population dynamics lab? Is the lab activity a realistic representation of an arctic marine ecosystem? Note: Please provide detailed support for your opinion.
The population dynamics lab was based on nature though it is not as realistic as real nature because it is not a controlled environment with exact populations. Also it limited the amount of variables,we didn't take into account like disease and seals have other predators. Also whales have
other food sources besides seals and in a realistic situation their
relationship may be different.
By Kelli Snellman
Full transcript