The Effects of Zebra and Quagga Mussels Introduced into a Freshwater Lake

As you have learned, population dynamics are caused by the biotic potential of the population and the effects of environmental resistance. When there is minimal environmental resistance impacting a population, it will exhibit a population explosion. One reason for minimal resistance could be factors that no longer regulate a population (e.g., predator decline or resource increases). Another reason for a population explosion is the introduction of an invasive species. Invasive species are species foreign to an ecosystem and are not immediately regulated by the environmental restraints of the particular ecosystem that they invade. This in turn allows their populations to grow seemingly uncontrolled and to displace other indigenous populations. Examples of such an invasive species into North America are dreissenid mussels, commonly known as zebra and quagga mussels. Their introduction into the Great Lakes has caused economic hardship and a reorganization of the ecosystem. This has led, in part, to pollution-causing effects that can be linked to an alga known as Cladophora.

Ecosystems are webs of intricately balanced interactions. But what happens when a new species is introduced that uses a disproportionate share of the ecosystem’s resources?

Use the attachment for assignment instructions and data collection.

Name:

Date:

Instructor’s Name:

Assignment: SCI203 Phase 5 Lab Report

Title: Identifying Environmental Hazards

Instructions: You will write a 1-page lab report using the scientific method to answer the following questions:

  • Why do you see increases and decreases in the invasive species population?
  • What are the implications associated with these alterations to the ecosystem as a whole?

When your lab report is complete – submit it in the classroom.

Part I: Using the lab animation, fill in the data table below to help you generate your hypothesis, outcomes, and analysis.

Years Zebra and Quagga Mussel (density/m2) Phytoplankton (µg/ml) Zooplankton (µg/ml) Cladophora Biomass (g/m2) Foraging Fish (kilotons) Lake Trout (kilotons)
0            
3            
7            
10            
13            
15            
20            

Part II: Write a 1-page lab report using the following scientific method sections:

  • Purpose
    • State the purpose of the lab.
  • Introduction
    • This is an investigation of what is currently known about the question being asked. Use background information from credible references to write a short summary about concepts in the lab. List and cite references in APA style.
  • Hypothesis/Predicted Outcome
    • A hypothesis is an educated guess. Based on what you have learned and written about in the Introduction, state what you expect to be the results of the lab procedures.
  • Methods
    • Summarize the procedures that you used in the lab. The Methods section should also state clearly how data (numbers) were collected during the lab; this will be reported in the Results/Outcome section.
  • Results/Outcome
    • Provide here any results or data that were generated while doing the lab procedure.
  • Discussion/Analysis
    • In this section, state clearly whether you obtained the expected results.  Also discuss the results and what you learned from this lab.
    • Note: You can use the lab data to help you discuss the results and what you learned.

Provide references in APA format. This includes a reference list and in-text citations for references used in the Introduction section.

Give your paper a title and identify each section as specified above. Although the hypothesis will be a 1-sentence answer, the other sections will need to be paragraphs to adequately explain your experiment.

 
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