FINAL BIO REPORT

FINAL BIO REPORT - Selenastrum The Effects of Predation and Competition Abstract The investigation in discovering the impact of competition and

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Selenastrum: The Effects of Predation and Competition
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Abstract: The investigation in discovering the impact of competition and predation of an algae species is conducted by using combinations of Selenastrum, Daphnia, and Anabaena in three different communities. Specifically the investigation addresses two main questions: what is the effect of predation on a single population, and what is the effect of competition on a single population. This experiment can be important to many biological studies, including preservation. These species were divided into three different communities, each including Selenastrum , and Anabaena in one and Daphnia in the other. This established a control group as well as two experimental groups. The results revealed that both competition and predation had a negative effect on the population density of the algae Selenastrum . Introduction : Competition and predation can have a negative effect on population growth. Competition for food sources, space and other resources can lower the maximum carrying capacity and constant feeding upon the target species can lead to its depletion. Predator removal research has supported the notion that predators reduce the size of prey populations (Freeman 2005). And additional research has also given evidence that predators make an impact, whether it is large or small, on the population sizes of its chosen prey (Hilgerloh 1999; Hansen 2006). In addition to predation, competition may also lead to population decrease. When a species is introduced to competition there are a few possible outcomes. Competitive exclusion, when one species overpowers the other and drives it to extinction, or niche differentiation, where the species learn to use only a portion of the resources usually acquired, may occur (Freeman 2005). This topic can be 2
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important to much research that is conducted in efforts to preserve some animal species in the wild. Some aspects of predation and competition are still unknown. The impact of predation on species with very large intrinsic growth rates that are also well defended is unclear (Freeman 2005). Also, the specific resources that species compete over, whether it is water, food, or space, can also remain unknown. Our aquatic experiment allows us to directly look into how exactly predation and competition directly affect Selenastrum by providing controlled environments for them to grow. Our control treatment will also allow us to see the population growth of Selenastrum while it is undisturbed by these outside factors. These particular species are key in this experiment because they reproduce very quickly and are they are small
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course BSCI 106S taught by Professor Via during the Spring '08 term at Maryland.

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FINAL BIO REPORT - Selenastrum The Effects of Predation and Competition Abstract The investigation in discovering the impact of competition and

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