- Develop a hypothesis on which pot you believe will contain the highest biodiversity.
Hypothesis = If one pot has direct exposure to sunlight it will have the highest level of growth and production.
- Based on the results of your experiment, would you reject or accept the hypothesis that you produced in question 1? Explain how you determined this.
Accept/Reject = I would accept the hypothesis based solely on that the direct sunlight provided the growth need. The plant with direct sunlight is full in the pot and vibrant. The plant away from direct sunlight looks as though it is struggling. The plant is leaning into the sunlight which shows it really does need sunlight to survive.
- If each pot was a sample you found in a group of wildflowers, would you determine based on the diversity of flowers that the ecosystem is healthy? Why or why not.
Answer = I would say that each sample would have results of a healthy ecosystem based on the diversity in each sample. Each plant has samples of all five seeded plants planted and yielded results in two weeks.Both specimens have results. I would say the ecosystem sample that was not in direct sunlight did not show signs of a healthier ecosystem. I believe that the temperature and light changes could have played a part in the results. Looking at the photo shows the struggle as it leans for the sunlight. The other sample the on the window sill is very full and vibrant.
- How does biodiversity contribute to the overall health of an ecosystem? Provide specific examples and utilize at least one scholarly resource to back your answer.
Biodiversity is an important feature to maintain a healthy, survivable ecosystem. As demonstrated in the lab, the ecosystem consists of different populations at different levels of the food chain (Kangas, 2004). These populations support each other, and each at every level; play a specific role necessary for the health of the ecosystem. Lichens, break down organic material and as a byproduct produce nutrient rich soil. The nutrients are then used by plants (flowers and trees) to grow and produce food for consumers. In addition, bees help plants grow, as they are primary pollinators. Assume an ecosystem in which only one species at each level exist. This would be a very fragile ecosystem. If a toxin were introduced into the soil that eliminated the lichens in this ecosystem, the entire system would collapse. The soil would no longer be nutrient rich, reducing the plants and thus reducing the amount of available energy for higher levels of the ecosystem. If however, there were different species of lichens that each were affected differently by the toxins, then some lichen populations may survive, continuing the important role lichens play in the ecosystem (Singer, 2006).
Bees can be used as another example. While there are many pollinators, bees are the primary source of pollination. We are currently experiencing a global bee colony reduction due to climate change and overuse of pesticides. These changes to the environment affect most bee species. Ecologists are worried about the implications of bee population reduction. This may seriously affect the amount of available plants for human consumption. If however, there were more biodiversity (e.g. a different species of pollinator) this may not be as serious as a problem. The changes affecting the bees might not affect the other species of pollinator thereby mitigating the loss of bee colonies. Sadly, this is not the case. There is no other species that could make up for the loss of bees making this a serious problem we must work towards correcting.
Biodiversity presents the ecological system with back-up measures to replace those that fail for whatever reason. If one measure disappears, another can take it’s place and the system can adjust, and eventually continue as before. The survivability of the ecosystem is directly related to the amount of the biodiversity present (Turk and Bensel, 2011).
Kangas, P. (Ed.). (2004). Ecological engineering: principles and practice. CRC Press.
Singer, A. C. (2006). The chemical ecology of pollutant biodegradation: bioremediation and phytoremediation from mechanistic and ecological perspectives. In Phytoremediation rhizoremediation (pp. 5-21). Springer Netherlands.
Turk, J., & Bensel, T. (2011). Contemporary environmental issues: San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.