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Practical evaluation of the relationship between community biodiversity and ecosystem productivity using a simple plant model

This educational activity aims to test the relationship between the biodiversity of plant communities and their productivity. In two laboratory sessions, students will assemble duckweed communities at different levels of species richness, determine their productivity and measure the traits of the different species. The data collected will be interpreted by applying a biodiversity partitioning metric to assess the roles of complementarity and selection on driving the observed relationship between diversity and productivity. This activity also offers the possibility to measure species morphological traits which can be used to quantify the functional diversity of communities in addition to species richness, investigate its effect on community productivity, and monitor phenotypic plasticity as a possible mechanism. This activity includes a theoretical aspect investigating the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, and a practical aspect involving the cultivation of experimental plant communities and the measurement of quantitative traits.
Associated files
Primary or BEN resource type
Secondary resource type
General Biology Core Concepts
Discipline Specific Core Concepts
General Biology Competencies
Life science discipline (subject)
Keywords Biodiversity Ecosystem functioning productivity community ecology
Key taxa Lemnaceae
Intended End User Role
Educational Language
Pedagogical Use Category
Pedagogical Use Description This submission describes a laboratory exercise using aquatic plants to demonstrate basic principles in community ecology
Uniqueness The use of small, fast reproducing macroscopic organisms like duckweed allow for the demonstration and experimental test of complex ecological concepts in short and feasible time frames, well adapted to a teaching context.
Aggregation Level
Full Name of Primary Author Alex-Anne Couture
Primary Author Affiliation Université du Québec à Montréal
Primary Author email
Secondary Author Name(s) Mark Davidson Jewell; Alain Paquette
Secondary Author Affiliation(s) McGill University; Université du Québec à Montréal
Secondary Author Email(s);
Added By Id
  • MarkJewell
Submitter Name Mark Davidson Jewell
Submitter Email
Rights Authors
Review type
Drought and Water Ecosystem Services Collection Off
Conservation Targets Under Global Change Collection Off
Big Data Collection Off
Editors Choice No
Resource Status
Date Of Record Submission 0000-00-00
I Agree to EcoEdDL's Copyright Policy & Terms of Use Yes
Date Of Record Release 2024-05-17 12:31:24
Last Modified By Id
  • tmourad
Date Last Modified 2024-05-24 10:53:19
Release Flag Published

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