Beetle Scientific Paper (Finished)

Beetle Scientific Paper (Finished) - Rasmussen 1 Drew...

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Rasmussen 1 Drew Rasmussen Penny Louka Biology 191 Lab November 8, 2010 Tribolium confusum Abstract This experiment was designed to show the relationship between population growth and resources. In specific, the resources dealt with by this experiment were food and space. The study was done with the Tribolium confusum, also known by its common name the Confused Flour Beetle. These beetles are generally dark brown to red, about 1/8 of an inch in length, and feed primarily on flower and grains. Since the experiment was designed to show the relationships between population growth and resources (specifically food and space), 5 different test jars were set up in order to create a method for controlling different variables. This test was conducted 6 times by different groups, and the data shown in the following tables and graphs is a class average based on data collected. From the information gathered one major hypothesis was generated; space and food are required factors for population growth. Introduction Population growth is defined as the rate at which a group of interbreeding species can reproduce. Unlike an individual, populations can see positive, negative, and static (zero) growth. In this experiment positive growth was dealt with, but it was limited by certain elements. Different limiting factors can be observed when watching different species. Thus species A is likely to depend on something different than species B for survival. This plays an important part in choosing the test specimens for population experiments. It is necessary to choose a species’
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Rasmussen 2 whose limiting factors can be easily manipulated. Of these elements, popular dependencies include food, space, reproduction rate, and interaction among members of a population. Thomas Malthus, a scientist who contributed a lot to the science of population growth, developed two major models for population growth among species. (Munger, 1996). Figure 1. Exponential vs. Logistic Growth. Two models developed by Thomas Malthus while observing population growth. The left image refers to exponential growth, and the right refers to logistic growth, which were both documented and further explained by Malthus. Exponential growth shows a continuous trend that is unchecked by limitations. Because it is unchecked population size will continue to grow, and as more individuals begin to come into the population, the rate at which population size increases begins to go up tremendously. Much like the graph of y = x 2 , as x values get higher (in this case x being time), the faster the y value increases (y value in this scenario would be number of individuals). Population growth heavily depends on competition for resources available in an environment. If a single resource is limited, growth rates can decline as seen in logistic growth. In this beetle experiment as time progressed and more beetles began to occupy the space, growth should slow down much like in the logistic representation. It is also important to note that resources are not the only aspects that affect population growth or sustainability. Interactions within a population’s species or interfering external species
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This note was uploaded on 01/18/2012 for the course BIOL 191L taught by Professor Dr.dottydouglass during the Fall '10 term at Boise State.

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Beetle Scientific Paper (Finished) - Rasmussen 1 Drew...

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