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VOLUME 13 TEACHING ISSUES AND EXPERIMENTS IN ECOLOGY
PRACTICE

Environment-Richness Relationships in Ephemeral and Permanent Wetlands: Guided Inquiry with Graph Interpretation

Ephermal wetland. (Photo by A.M. Little)

AUTHOR

Amanda M. Little

University of Wisconsin-Stout (littlea@uwstout.edu)


THE ECOLOGICAL QUESTION

How do relationships between taxonomic richness and environmental variables differ in permanent and temporary wetland habitats?

ECOLOGICAL CONTENT

Species richness, environmental variation, habitat permanency, aquatic ecology

WHAT STUDENTS DO

  • Design hypotheses about how wetland hydroperiod may affect different groups of species (Knowledge, Comprehension, Application)
  • Produce and analyze graphs comparing permanent and temporary wetlands, with an emphasis on understanding linear models (Comprehension, Synthesis, Analysis)
  • Summarize relationships between environmental attributes and ecological communities (Synthesis)
  • Connect differences in relationships back to wetland hydroperiod (Comprehension, Synthesis)
  • Advanced student extension: Connect difference in relationships to wetland hydroperiod across multiple years (Comprehension, Synthesis)

SKILLS

  • Hypothesis development
  • Data visualization using spreadsheets or statistical program
  • Data interpretation
  • Data quality evaluation
  • Connecting ecological concepts

STUDENT-ACTIVE APPROACHES

Guided-inquiry, peer feedback, predict-observe-explain, small group discussion, possible jigsaw

ASSESSABLE OUTCOMES

annotated bibliography, proposed hypotheses and data analysis, written interpretation of figures and statistical analyses

SOURCE

Data were collected as part of a five-year research study of ephemeral pond wetlands.

DOWNLOADS

Description of Resource Files:

Each data set contains three worksheets. The first worksheet provides definitions and other information about variables. The second worksheet consists of the environmental and species richness variables for each wetland. The final worksheet contains some species information for a brief exploration of community composition.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Thank you to Jim Church and Matt Kuchta for collaboration on data collection and project administration. The QUBES DIG into Data Faculty Mentoring Network provided invaluable feedback, structure, and ideas for this module. The University of Wisconsin-Stout provided support for this project. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant DEB-1256142 to Little and Church. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

CITATION

Amanda M. Little. February 2018, posting date. Environment-Richness Relationships in Ephemeral and Permanent Wetlands: Guided Inquiry with Graph InterpretationTeaching Issues and Experiments in Ecology, Vol. 13: Practice #5 [online]. http://tiee.esa.org/vol/v13/issues/data_sets/little/abstract.html