Biodiversity Seminar 3

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Lake Victoria

This document serves as a teaching guide for the third of three seminars in a unit on biodiversity. This seminar focuses on invasive species in order to underscore the difficulties of managing and restoring ecosystems and the potential damage of intended or unintended manipulation. As explained in the corresponding lecture, biodiversity theory can explain the causes and consequences of biodiversity loss and provides recommendations for mediating the sixth global extinction event and thus ensuring the availability of ecosystem services, the health of the biosphere, and the quality of human life. The guide includes an overview, reading list, and step-by-step seminar plan, including suggested discussion questions, activities, and reference to assignments. Related seminar activities and assignment questions are provided in accompanying files.

Biodiversity Seminar 1b

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Depletion of fish stocks.

This teaching guide provides ideas for an alternative or additional seminar to include in a unit on biodiversity. The topics included in this guide are related to species decline in aquatic ecosystems. The guide contains an overview of the seminar, a reading list, and a step-by-step seminar plan, including suggested discussion questions, activities, and references to associated assignments. The related assignment questions are provided in an accompanying file.

Biodiversity Seminar 1

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This document serves as a teaching guide for the first of three seminars in a unit on biodiversity. This seminar focuses on global issues affecting biodiversity, including land and water use, greenhouse gases, decline of species, and emerging infectious diseases. The guide includes an overview, reading list, step-by-step seminar plan, and suggested discussion questions. The main seminar activity (an interrupted case study about bird populations in fragmented habitats) and assignment questions, which are described in the guide, are provided in related files.

Invasive Species and Population Dynamics

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Time series plot of balsam fir growth and moose population in Isle Royal National Park 1959–2003.

In this assignment, students will consider the effects of invasive species on ecosystems, and look at population dynamics in predator-prey relationships. In examining data from previous studies, students will apply their understanding of graphical displays of data and of statistical concepts (mean, standard deviation, variance, correlation, significance) to interpret research findings. This document serves as a student handout; an answer key is provided in an accompanying document.

Invasive Species and Population Dynamics

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Time series plot of wolf and moose populations in Isle Royal National Park 1959–2003.

In this assignment, students will consider the effects of invasive species on ecosystems and look at population dynamics in predator-prey relationships. In examining data from previous studies, students will apply their understanding of graphical displays of data and of statistical concepts (mean, standard deviation, variance, correlation, significance) to interpret research findings. This document serves as an answer key; a student handout is provided in an accompanying document.

Wombats and Bees

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Butterfly, bird, and plant declines.

This assignment requires students to consider data related to diversity in local animal populations. Students will apply their understanding of samples, populations, and statistics to data from several different published studies of biodiversity. This document serves as a student handout; an answer key is provided in an accompanying document.

Wombats and Bees

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Fruit-set effect sizes of pollen-supplementation experiments, North America.

This assignment requires students to consider data related to diversity in local animal populations. Students will apply their understanding of samples, populations, and statistics to data from several different published studies of biodiversity. This document serves as an answer key; a student handout is provided in an accompanying document.

Habitats and Resources

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Feeding time for long-tailed macaques.

In this assignment, students work with concepts related to land use, feeding/foraging efficiency, and dispersal of populations due to human disturbance. Using data from a published study on deforestation, these questions require students to read and interpret graphical displays of data, make quantitative comparisons based on data, make predictions based on hypotheses, and calculate P values. This document serves as a student handout; an answer key is provided in an accompanying document.

Habitats and Resources

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Forest cover by region.

In this assignment, students work with concepts related to land use, feeding/foraging efficiency, and dispersal of populations due to human disturbance. Using data from a published study on deforestation, these questions require students to read and interpret graphical displays of data, make quantitative comparisons based on data, make predictions based on hypotheses, and calculate P values. This document serves as an answer key; a student handout is provided in an accompanying document.

Bird Conservation

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Relationship between persistence and species-specific levels of mobility.

In this interrupted case study, students will play the role of conservation biologists interested in the ecology and population viability of birds in a fragmented habitat. In addition to engaging with ecological concepts, students will consider research methods and will analyze data from a previous study. This document serves as an instructor guide; student handouts are provided in an accompanying document.