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Population dynamics in simple two-species experimental microcosms

By Christopher T. Ivey

California State University, Chico

A two-week exercise which includes homework calculations and teaching resources. Students establish brine shrimp and Platymonas algal cultures and predict final densities.

Listed in Teaching Materials | resource by group Plants by the Numbers

Version 1.0.0 - published on 22 Apr 2018 doi:10.25334/Q40M6T - cite this

Licensed under CC Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International according to these terms

Adapted from: Food Chain Dynamics In A Simple Ecosystem v 1.0

IMG_20180329_093026677.jpg IMG_20180410_114950584.jpg IMG_20180410_115129243.jpg IMG_20180412_143927560_BURST000_COVER_TOP.jpg


This two-week exercise modified from Gibson (2018) and Hudson and Finnerty (2013) emphasizes how trophic interactions and other density-dependent phenomena may alter population growth or decline. In a "flipped" format, students are assigned videos and homework to introduce techniques and calculations required for class. Student groups establish replicated microcosms of known densities of Platymonas and brine shrimp and predict the impact of trophic interactions on final densities of each species. During the second week, groups evaluate predictions using statistical tests, and summarize findings.

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Plants by the Numbers

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