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Metabolic ecology: How do body size and temperature affect nutrient cycling rates?

In this TIEE dataset, students answer the question of whether nutrient cycling (excretion) rates of fish in lakes scale with body size and temperature as predicted by The Metabolic Theory of Ecology.

Students use data on the nitrogen and phosphorus excretion rates of fish to test hypotheses related to metabolic ecology.
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Primary or BEN resource type
Discipline Specific Core Concepts
Life science discipline (subject)
Keywords Animal metabolism, allometry, temperature dependence, nutrient cycling
Key taxa gizzard shad (Dorosoma cepedianum)
Intended End User Role
Educational Language
Pedagogical Use Description Skills used include using a spreadsheet to make graphs and do basic statistical analyses; working with a “large” data set; quantifying the simultaneous effects of two independent variables; working in groups; making presentations; and evaluating the support for various hypotheses. Student-active approaches include cooperative learning, group work assessment, and guided inquiry. Assessable outcomes include graphs depicting patterns; estimates of slopes using simple linear regression; creativity in analyzing data; critical thinking; and drawing conclusions about the validity of hypotheses.
Primary Author Controlled Name
Primary Author Affiliation Department of Zoology, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio 45056
Primary Author email
Secondary Author Name(s) Jessica A. Gephart
Secondary Author Affiliation(s) Department of Zoology, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio 45056
Rights Copyright 2011 by Michael J. Vanni, Jessica A. Gephart and the Ecological Society of America
Date Of Record Submission 2011-08-29

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