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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 species-rich assemblages (i.e.,
degree of nestedness), the possible relationships between fragmentation and
nestedness, and identification of common breeding bird species in regional forest
fragments. Between the first two labs, students practice bird identification, read about
the general effects of fragmentation on bird populations and communities, and consider
whether bird assemblages might be nested by specific attributes of habitat fragments.
During subsequent labs and out of class time, student groups survey breeding birds in
forest fragments, perform a statistical analysis, and assess the relative merits of the
alternative hypotheses. Student groups complete the experiment by presenting scientific
research posters
Associated files
Temporal and geographic description CLASS TIME
Four lab periods (minimum of 3 hours each) and one lecture period.
Ten hours per student, based on the following: 2 hours to read in preparation for lab
periods one and two, 3 hours for practice identifying organisms, 3 hours for data
processing and analysis, and 2 hours to generate products for submission.
Resource Group TIEE
Resource Group Link
Primary or BEN resource type
Discipline Specific Core Concepts
Life science discipline (subject)
Keywords alien species, assemblages, biodiversity, correlation versus causation, data analysis, assessment, background knowledge
Intended End User Role
Educational Language
Pedagogical Use Category
Pedagogical Use Description N/A
Aggregation Level
Full Name of Primary Author Roarke Donnelly
Primary Author Controlled Name
Primary Author Affiliation Oglethorpe University
Atlanta, GA 3031
Primary Author email
Added By Id
  • educationintern
Rights Author maintains rights
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 2011-03-14
I Agree to EcoEdDL's Copyright Policy & Terms of Use No
Date Of Record Release 2011-08-24 16:28:08
Last Modified By Id
  • educationintern
Date Last Modified 2018-07-25 15:39:41
Release Flag Published

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