Bio 101 Experiment (Lab) Help

Bio 101 Experiment (Lab) Help

How to Proceed

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  • Read through the introductory materials below.
  • Open the Unit 8 Experiment Answer Sheet and complete the following Experiment exercises this unit:
    • Experiment 8 Exercise 1 – Species Interactions: Competition
    • Experiment 8 Exercise 2 – Biomes

Species Interactions: Competition – Introduction

This unit we are learning about species-species interactions and how species influence each other (see pp 428-432 and our online lecture). One important interaction is interspecific competition, in which two or more species compete for limited resources. Competition, along with predation and symbioses (e.g., commensalism, mutualism, and parasitism) are important biological interactions that affect the size of species populations.

In the first exercise, we will examine the population growth of two species of freshwater ciliates. Populations of these species initially grow exponentially (see p 408), but the population does not increase in size forever. Eventually it reaches what is known as the carrying capacity of the environment, or the maximum population size the environment can support due to limitations in food, water or other resources.

Competitive exclusion (see p 429) may occur between two species that compete for the same resources. In this situation, only one species will be successful, such that the other species is forced to move elsewhere or die out. This rarely happens in nature though, since the species on the losing end typically switches to an alternate resource. However, under artificial situations, elimination of one species can occur.

The purpose of this exercise is to use a simulation to model competitive exclusion using the microscopic organisms that Gause used to come up with his competitive exclusion principle (see p 429). You will need to use the following website. Be sure you can access it and use it:

Glencoe/McGraw Hill. No date. Population Biology (Links to an external site.)

When you are ready to begin, go to the above website and open the Unit 8 Experiment Answer Sheet and follow the instructions.

In Biomes – Introduction

Bio 101 Experiment (Lab) Help

This unit we have learned about the large scale ecosystems called Biomes. They have developed over millions of years and the flora and fauna found in each biome type have adapted to the long term climate conditions (e.g., average rainfall, average temperatures). The purpose of this exercise is to see how well you understand the biotic and abiotic factors that shaped the various biomes. Review pp 384-390 and our online lecture this unit before beginning.

You will need to use the following websites. Be sure you can access them and use them:

NASA. No date. The Great Graph Match  (Links to an external site.)

NASA. No date. To Plant or Not to Plant (Links to an external site.)

When you are ready to begin, open the Unit 8 Experiment Answer Sheet to complete this exercise.

WEEK 8 EXPERIMENT ANSWER SHEET Please submit to the Week 8 Experiment dropbox no later than Sunday midnight.


· Experiment 8 Exercise 1 – Species Interactions: Competition

· Experiment 8 Exercise 2 – Biomes (Part I and II)

Experiment 8 Exercise 1: Species Interactions: Competition

In this exercise you will be evaluating the effect of competition on the population size of two species of microorganisms. Be sure you have read through the readings for Week 8 as well as the introductory information for the Week 8 Experiment. When you are ready to begin, open in the following website:

Glencoe-McGraw Hill. No date. Population Biology


A. Click on the Information button on the bottom and read through the material before beginning. You will need to scroll down to read all of the information. Close the window when you are done. Note that the two species we will be using will be competing for the same food source; bacteria.

B. First, you need to set up the experiment by distributing the two species to the three test tubes.

a. Click on the pipette (the purple bulb) in the flask containing P. caudatum, fill it and place the contents in Tube #1.

b. Then click on the pipette in the flask containing P. aurelia, fill it and place the contents in Tube #2.

c. Finish by putting a pipette full of both species in the Tube #3.

C. Answer the question below before proceeding.


Bio 101 Experiment (Lab) Help

1. The number of P. caudatum and P. aurelia grown alone would be expected to increase until the population size reaches the carrying capacity of the test tube. What do you think will happen in terms of population growth in Tube #3 that contains both species combined and why (2 pts)?

Procedure (continued)

D. You now need to count the number of organisms in each Tube beginning on Day 0 and continuing every 2 days until you reach Day 16. These values will need to be recorded in Table 1 below (do NOT use the Table provided by the website).

a. Click on the Microscope to get started.

b. Click on Clean microscope slides and then Take Sample.

c. Click on the first slide and drag it on to the microscope. Count the number of P. caudatum (note its shape) and multiply by 2 to get the number of cells per ml (your slide holds 0.5 ml). Record this number in the Table below; this is Day 0.

d. Next, click on the second slide and drag it to the microscope. Count the number of P. aurelia (note its shape), multiply by 2 and record this number in the Table for Day 0.

e. Finally, drag the third slide on to the microscope and count the number of each type of organism, multiply by 2 and enter the data into the Table.

f. Click on Clear Slides (on the bottom) and then on the Calendar that says Day 0 to advance it two days.

g. Repeat steps b – f until you reach 16 days.

h. As the days go on, you will have more and more individuals to count. Click on the Grid On button on the microscope to make them easier to count.

Table 1. Results (4 pts).

  Grown Separately (cells per ml) Grown Together (cells/ml)
Day P. caudatum P. aurelia P. caudatum P. aurelia

E. Now it is time to analyze your data.

a. You will need to generate two graphs, one which depicts the number of both species per day of culture when grown separately and one that depicts the number of both species per day of culture when grown together.

b. You must use the Scatter type graph in Excel and each graph should have two lines (one for each species).

c. Be sure you label your axes and your series; meaning you will need to indicate which line pertains to P. caudatum and which to P. aurelia.

Paste your two graphs below (4 pts):


2. What were the carrying capacities (maximum population size) for the two species when grown separately and on what day were they reached (1 pts)?

3. Describe what happened when the two species were grown together and explain why. Be sure to discuss the magnitude and timing of each species’ carrying capacity compared to when they were grown separately (3 pts).

4. Do these results support the principle of competitive exclusion; why or why not? Be sure to cite your sources. (4 pts).

Experiment 8 Exercise 2: Biomes

Bio 101 Experiment (Lab) Help

In these two relatively short exercises, we will be examining the biotic and abiotic factors that define a biome. You should have completed the readings for this week before beginning.

Procedure – Part I: The Great Graph Match

A. Open the following website:

NASA. No date. The Great Graph Match

B. In the Great Graph Match, you will need to match abiotic information (annual rainfall and temperatures) to the appropriate biome. Follow the instructions on the page and fill-in the Table below. For the Explanation column, you need to briefly explain why you chose the biome you did based on the data presented.

C. Be sure to provide complete citations for the sources used.

Table 2. Locations, biomes and explanations (4 pts).

Location Biome Explanation
Frogmore, England    
Goteborg, Sweden    
Koombooloomba, Australia    
Barrow, Alaska    
Alice Springs, Australia    
San Bernadino, California    
Centralia, Kansas    


Bio 101 Experiment (Lab) Help

Procedure – Part II: To Plant or Not to Plant

A. Open the following website:

NASA. No date. To Plant or Not to Plant

B. In the To Plant or not to Plant, you will need to determine which in which biomes to plant various plants, based on the information presented. Follow the instructions on the page and fill-in the Table below. For the Explanation column, you need to briefly explain why you chose the biome you did.

C. Be sure to provide complete citations for the sources used.

Table 3. Plants, biomes and explanations (4 pts).

Plant Biome Explanation
Creosote bush    
Flowering dogwood    
Bluestem grasses    
White sage    
Saguaro cactus    


Week 8 Questions

1. Are most invasive (exotic) species K-selected or r-selected species? Explain your choice and why that makes sense in terms of their ecological success.



2. Briefly define a community and an ecosystem and describe how the two are interrelated.



3. Which of the following levels of organization are in order, from simplest to most complex.

a.  population, organism, community, ecosystem b.  community, ecosystem, population, organism c.  organism, community, population, ecosystem d.  population, ecosystem, organism, community e.  organism, population, community, ecosystem

4. Mosses growing on bare rock will eventually help to create soil.  These mosses are involved in ___ succession.

a.  primary b.  secondary c.  tertiary

5. If a farmer sprays a pesticide onto a field and kills half of the insect pests, he has caused a reduction in________.

a.  field capacity b. carrying capacity c. population size d. More than one of the above

6. What type of survivorship curve would you expect for a plant species in which only a few seeds are produced and most of these survive to produce adult plants?

a.  type I b.  type II c.  type III

7.  An ecological niche is an organism’s_______ in an ecosystem.

a. location b.  habitat         c.  resources         d.  function

8. No matter how rapidly populations grow, they eventually reach a limit and begin to stabilize. This is called the ______________.

9. Unicellular algae live in the tissues of coral animals.  The algae provide food for the coral, while the coral provides a stable home for the algae. This is an example of

a.  Parasitism b.  Commensalism c.  Mutualism

10. The vast majority of energy taken into an ecosystem is____________.

a.  converted into biomass by plants. b.  utilized by secondary consumers. c.  lost as heat. d.  used by the primary consumers. e.  concentrated in the decomposers.

11. A farmer is using an insecticide to treat his crops. While most insects do not survive their first exposure to the insecticide some have a gene that enables them to survive. When these survivors reproduce they will likely pass along this resistance to their offspring. This results in an increase in numbers of the insects over time. Which of the following processes applies to this survival?

a. cloning b. mutation c. natural selection d. genetic engineering

12. What is the ecological relationship between insects and crops?

a. mutualism  b. competition c. predation

13. Sea anemones growing on the backs of crabs without damaging the crabs are an example of

a.  Parasitism b.  Commensalism c.  Mutualism

14. Which of these is a population density-independent regulating factor?

a.  Competition b.  Predation c.  Size of population d.  Weather e.  Resource availability

15. Producers are_________.

a.  Autotrophs b.  Herbivores c.  Omnivores d.  Carnivores

16.If biological magnification occurs, the ___ will have the highest levels of toxins in their systems.

a.  producers b.  herbivores c.  primary carnivores d.  top carnivores

17. Given the amount of sunlight that hits the plants on our planet, and the ability of plants for rapid growth and reproduction, how come we aren’t all hip deep in dead plants?



Bio 101 Experiment (Lab) Help

Week 8 Experiment Grading Rubric

Component Expectation Points
Experiment 8 Exercise 1 Correctly conducts experiment, records data (Table 1) and generates two graphs. 8 pts
Experiment 8 Exercise 1 Demonstrates an understanding competition between species and the effect it has on population growth (Questions 1-4). 10 pts
Experiment 8 Exercise 2 Develops an appreciation of the diversity of ecosystems around the globe and understands the environmental conditions that lead to their development (Tables 2 and 3). 8 pts

26 pts

Updated October 2013


Bio 101 Experiment (Lab) Help

You must proofread your paper. But do not strictly rely on your computer’s spell-checker and grammar-checker; failure to do so indicates a lack of effort on your part and you can expect your grade to suffer accordingly. Papers with numerous misspelled words and grammatical mistakes will be penalized. Read over your paper – in silence and then aloud – before handing it in and make corrections as necessary. Often it is advantageous to have a friend proofread your paper for obvious errors. Handwritten corrections are preferable to uncorrected mistakes.
Use a standard 10 to 12 point (10 to 12 characters per inch) typeface. Smaller or compressed type and papers with small margins or single-spacing are hard to read. It is better to let your essay run over the recommended number of pages than to try to compress it into fewer pages.

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