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Ecological Core Concepts -- Populations -- Genetic and phenotypic diversity

View Resource Testing Hypotheses on Plant-herbivore Interactions Using Sawfly Galls on Willows

In this experiment, students observe sawfly galls (Hymenoptera) on willow (Salix) trees to investigate some of the ecological consequences of plant-herbivore relationships. The physical and chemical traits of plants vary due to genes and environmental factors, such as soil moisture, nutrient levels, exposure to pathogens, and exposure to herbivores. These traits can lead to differences in...


Publisher: EcoEd Digital Library

View Resource The Insect Predation Game: Evolving Prey Defenses and Predator Responses

In this activity, learn about predator-prey interactions by pretending to be generalist insect predators foraging for three prey species (candy). Three feeding adaptations are used (mandibles, raptorial forelegs, and unmodified legs). Students conduct several simulations, each of which lasts about a minute. After each simulation, prey reproduce and predator numbers are adjusted to reflect...


Publisher: EcoEd Digital Library

View Resource Assessment of the teaching of evolution by natural selection through a hands-on simulation

Given the expense, time and considerable teacher effort required to perform hands-on activities in the classroom, their consequences for student learning need to be evaluated. This study takes one example of student-active learning, students collecting and analyzing their own data, and asks whether the physical act of collecting data increases students’ learning of natural selection and affect...


Publisher: EcoEd Digital Library

View Resource An Assessment of Assemblage Nestedness in Habitat Fragments

This experiment illustrates how ecological theory can help conserve native species in a fragmented landscape. It is germane to units on biogeography, human impacts on ecosystems, landscape ecology, conservation, and restoration. During the first lab, the instructor introduces the process of habitat fragmentation, the degree to which species in species-poor assemblages are proper subsets of...


Publisher: EcoEd Digital Library

View Resource Pathways to Scientific Teaching, Chapter 5a of 7: Novel assessments: detecting success in student learning

This article illustrates how multiple methods can be used to assess student understanding of the “novel weapons hypothesis” presented in the Callaway and Ridenour review of theories regarding invasive plant species[attached]. The paper introduces students to concepts of natural selection, fitness, competition, and invasion of exotic species. The assessments we describe here engage students ...


Publisher: EcoEd Digital Library

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