Population Ecology and Lab Activity

6 June 2016

1.Using Table 1, which of the three trials produced the highest carrying capacity for both the whales and the seals? Why do you think this trial had the best outcome for the whale and seal populations?

2.Using Table 2 and 3, explain how the birth rates of the seals and the death rates of the whales affected the carrying capacity for both whales and seals.

Population Ecology and Lab Activity Essay Example

3.For the second trial in Part 1, we doubled the whale population and reduced the seal population by half. However, the carrying capacity for the seals only decreased slightly from the first trial. What do you think caused this outcome?

4.If another source of prey were available to the whales, what changes in population size would you expect for the seals and the whales?

5.In this lesson, you learned about two patterns of population growth and decline, the sigmoid and peak phenomena. Does the seal and killer whale relationship represent a sigmoid or peak phenomenon? Please provide supporting details.

6.What are the limitations of the population dynamics lab? Is the lab activity a realistic representation of an arctic marine ecosystem? Note: Please provide detailed support for your opinion. Birth, death, migration, community interactions, and abiotic factors can influence the size of a population. Changes to ecosystems, due to season, climate, and successions, can also impact population growth and decline. The effects of all of these components combine to determine the carrying capacity of a population within a particular ecosystem.

Now that you have completed this lesson, you should be able to:

■describe four factors that affect population size ■identify factors that limit population growth ■explain the difference between primary and secondary succession

■differentiate between habitat and niche

Population Dynamics Lab

In this lab activity, you will investigate how predation, birthrates, and death rates influence the carrying capacity of the killer whale and seal populations within their marine ecosystem. The killer whale and seal have a predation relationship in the icy Arctic Ocean. Killer whales are predators and hunt their prey, the seals, for food. Due to their relationship, the killer whale and seal populations are interconnected; one population limits the growth of the other.

You will be submitting a lab report as the assignment for this lesson. Be sure to read the instructions before completing the virtual lab activity and your lab report. Refer to the lab rubric before submitting your report

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