project of biology 2

Be sure to include ALL pages of this project (including the directions and the assignment) when you send the project to your teacher for grading. Don’t forget to put your name and I.D. number at the top of this page!

This project contains a total of 100 points possible and will count for 14% of your overall grade for this course. Be sure to read all the instructions and assemble all the necessary materials before you begin. You can complete this entire project electronically by downloading and saving this editable copy of Project 1. You can complete all three parts using your word processing program, and save them in either .pdf (Portable Document Format), or .doc (Microsoft Word Document) format. When you have completed this project you can submit it electronically through the online course management system. Remember that a file that is larger than 5,000 K will NOT go through the online system. Check the instructions in the online course for more information.

This needs to be your own work. DO NOT copy and paste information from the sources that you use. You need to write everything you learn in your own words. REMEMBER: failing to cite sources or submitting another person’s work as your own is PLAGIARISM, which will result in a failing grade.

Part A – Research an Ecosystem (possible 60 points)

Follow the procedures below to complete this part of the project. Save it as SCIH025062Project1A.doc


The objective of the first part of this project is for you to demonstrate your understanding of the complex interrelationships between organisms in an ecosystem, and their living and nonliving environment.


Your job is to choose an ecosystem that interests you and research it. It can be one near your home, or far away. You are investigating an ecosystem NOT a biome, so if you wanted to investigate a ‘wetland’, chose a ‘wetland’ in a particular area, don’t investigate ‘wetlands’ in general.

You can organize your research in one of several different ways for submission. Be sure to pick the format that you enjoy the most to present your research and make the most of the tools that are available to you. You can choose between one of the following formats:

1. Informational brochure

2. Essay format

3. Web site

4. PowerPoint Presentation

Regardless of the format you choose, you should be sure to include all the required information as well as any pictures, graphics, web resource URLs, and other additional information that will make your project interesting as well as informational. DO NOT just fill in the outline with pertinent details. Create your project for an audience that is not familiar with your ecosystem. Include all the information they need to get the full understanding of the ecosystem that you are researching! Feel free to add pages to this document to make sure you have all the space you need.

**If you choose to complete your project in a non-document format, be sure your name, course number, and student ID are on the project so that your teacher can give you the credit you earn with your hard work.

Required Elements:

  1. DEFINITION of an ecosystem (1.5 pts) and DESCRIPTION of the ecosystem (1.5 pts) of your choice (wetland, desert, riparian forest, etc.).
  2. DESCRIBE and EXPLAIN aspects of the ecosystem and how they relate to one another.

A. Animals (fauna)

  1. species that are a part of the ecosystem (3 pts)
  2. food web (Hint: Please include an image of a food web for your ecosystem. Please explain the image such as what they eat, what the flow of energy arrows represent and how it is related to the environment.) Create your own image or properly cite from the Internet. (3 pts)
  3. relationships to plants (Hint: Between plants and animals—this is different than explaining feeding relationships, i.e. symbiotic relationships such as mutualism, commensalism and parasitism.) (3 pts)
  4. adaptations (Hint: What adaptations do the animals show to this specific ecosystem, to the climate, or geological features?) (3 pts)

B. Climate

  1. seasons (Duration of/when do they occur?) (3 pts)
  2. weather patterns. (Hint: For example, grasslands located in Nebraska would/could experience tornadoes or thunderstorms in the spring. Discuss the type of weather that occurs during each season. Try to be more specific than simply indicating it’s cold in the winter and warm in the summer.) (3 pts)
  3. temperature range and variation (Quantify by month or season) (3 pts)
  4. rainfall (Quantify by month or season) (3 pts)
  5. wind (Quantify by month or season) (3 pts)
  6. humidity (Quantify by month or season) (3 pts)
  7. extreme events: hurricanes, tornadoes, flash floods, etc. (3 pts)

C. Plants (flora)

  1. species that are a part of the ecosystem (3 pts)
  2. adaptations: (Hint: What adaptations do the plants show to this specific ecosystem, to the climate, or geological features?) (3 pts)

D. Geological Features

  1. soil/substrate types (3 pts)
  2. terrain (mountains, plains, valleys, etc.) (3 pts)
  3. continental orientation (coastal, island, interior, etc.) (3 pts)
  4. rock structures (3 pts)
  5. hemispheric orientation: where the ecosystem is on the face of Earth (3 pts)

E. Other

  1. Indicate how humans have are positively and/or negatively affecting the ecosystem. (3 pts)

Part A of your project will be graded using the following rubric:

Part B – Lab Activity 3 (20 points possible)

Complete MiniLab 2: Prepare a Scientific Argument on page 77 of your textbook. See Lesson 3 for additional instructions about completing this lab. Save it as SCIH025062Project1B.doc

  1. Use the information provided in MiniLab 2 to prepare a comparison table and list your pros and cons for draining the pond and building the road. (7 pts)

  1. Choose one course of action and design a plan to support that choice. (3 pts)Remember, your choice could include compromises or alternatives. List the steps you would take to achieve your goal. (5 pts)

  1. Explain why you think decisions involving the environment are difficult to make and why they often generate strong feelings in those on every side of the issue. Be sure to give examples supporting why feelings on each side of the argument have value. (5 pts)

Part C – Lab Activity 4 (20 points possible)

Complete Data Analysis Lab 4.1 of your textbook. See Lesson 4 for additional instructions about completing this lab. Save it as SCIH025062Project1C.doc

  1. Compare the data in the three areas. How did the house finch populations change? (7 pts)
  1. Why did the house finch abundance stabilize in 1995 and 1996? (Hint! Think about what you read in Chapter 4, Section 1) (7 pts)

  1. Explain whether or not the parasite Mycoplasma galisepthicum is effective in limiting the size of house finch populations. (6 pts)