As you learned in Chapter 1, ecosystems are a complex and delicate balancing game. The addition or removal of any species affects many other species that might compete for or provide food. These interspecific interactions are further influenced by human impacts on the environment such as habitat fragmentation. Chapter 4 noted how disturbances associated with deforestation and urban sprawl alter environmental conditions in ways that can both shift competitive outcomes in ecosystems and threaten human well-being.
In this lab you will apply the scientific method to examine how thresholds of land use changes such as deforestation and urban sprawl can impact communities, predator/prey relationships, species diversity, and quality of life in human communities.
In the lab questions below, report your answers in the format of a scientific report: introduction, methods, results, discussion, conclusions and management recommendations. Click here for a tip sheet about writing scientific reports.
1. What is the question that this study aimed to answer? State the hypothesis that you tested. The question the study aimed to answer was rather or not humans moving into an area have a profound effect on the environment of that area. My hypothesis was that the more humans that populated an area the more the natural resources of that area would be depleted.
2. Briefly describe the methods of data collection and analysis you used to test your hypothesis. What scientific procedure did you follow to answer your question and test your hypothesis?
To test my hypothesis I used a spread sheet along with a visual graph to show the natural resources of an area and in 25% increments added people.
3. Look at your results table. What were impacts of fragmentation on each species’ population