BSCI106 LAB REPORT

BSCI106 LAB REPORT - The Effects of Selenastrum Population...

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The Effects of Selenastrum Population Growth in Competition with Anabaena and Predation with Daphnia .
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Abstract In aquatic ecosystems human development has disturbed natural interactions between species. If these natural interactions can be understood than pollution can be counteracted and we can make advances in the way of ecosystem reconstruction. In this experiment we will work towards this cause by understanding the relationships on competition and predation based on Selenastrum populations. This experiment will work to answer what affect competition between two forms of algae, Selenastrum and Anabaena , has on the Selenastrum population. The Second question to be addressed is what effect predation has on Selenastrum while in the presence of Daphnia . These questions will be answered through the use of model ecosystems, microcosms. Three microcosms will include the single presence of Selenastrum , Selenastrum with Anabaena , and Selenastrum with Daphnia . Over time the Selenastrum population density will be calculated with the help of a Hemacytometer. This data will be statistically analyzed to compare the relative effects. With the completion of this experiment it can be concluded that competition between Selenastrum and Anabaena positively affects Selenastrum populations while predation between Daphnia and Selenastrum negatively affects Selenastrum populations. These conclusions based on controlled environments can allow us to understand real life complex relationships in order to restore the natural balance to aquatic ecosystems. Introduction Competition occurs when two organisms require the same resource. In such cases the resource availability is then affected. In cases of limited environments such as those with limited space, when population increases the resource availability is decreased. This interspecific competition leads to logistic growth instead of exponential growth which could occur in unbound 2
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ecosystems. Predation can also affect the impact of competition. If one organism is in competition with another it can be less of a threat for that shared resource if it faces predation as well. The relationships involving competition and predation between organisms are important to understand for all fields of biology. To understand population growth rates as well as natural selection and overall fitness it is important to evaluate competition and predation. This experiment can further the developments of competition and predation specifically relating to specific types of algae. Previous work has concluded that algae and zooplankton similar to the species we are working with are important to ecosystems. Previous experiments and real life history has taught us that human development is destructive to the natural ecosystems of many fish. Human development increases phosphorous runoff into streams, rivers and other waterways. These increased amounts of phosphorous increase algae populations resulting in more food for
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BSCI106 LAB REPORT - The Effects of Selenastrum Population...

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