Biodiversity Seminar 2

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Diana fritillary on wild quinine.

This document serves as a teaching guide for the second of three seminars in a unit on biodiversity. This seminar focuses on the concept of "ecosystem services" and the importance of biodiversity to ecosystem function. The guide includes an overview, reading list, and step-by-step seminar plan, including suggested discussion questions. Related seminar activities and assignment questions are provided in accompanying files.

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.

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.

The Birds and the Bees

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Blue orchard bee.

In this handout, students are introduced to a study by Claire Kremen, Neal M. Williams, and Robbin W. Thorp that explores the role of biodiversity in crop pollination—an essential ecosystem service that is threatened by the decline of natural pollinator species. Students engage with these concepts in depth through the accompanying activity on pollination.