Department of Biological Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907
One fourth of vertebrate species are found in freshwaters and over half of known fish species (~18,000) are found in freshwaters. However, freshwater is limited with less than 1% of all water on the globe being freshwater. Thus, human pressures imperil aquatic life for use of freshwater and the surrounding landscape. What land use pressures are most impactful to freshwater streams? How do these land use pressures change the diversity of fish communities?
FOUR DIMENSIONAL ECOLOGY EDUCATION (4DEE) FRAMEWORK
- Core Ecological Concepts:
- Life histories
- Ecology Practices:
- Quantitative reasoning
- Data analysis and interpretation
- Designing investigations
- Question development
- Human-Environment Interactions:
- How humans shape the environment
- Land use gradients
- Cross-cutting Themes:
- Spatial & Temporal
Think-pair-share, gallery walk, sketching conceptual figures.
Comparison of conceptual figures, short answer for synthesis and application questions.
The figure set could be broken up between two class periods, used in one class period, or within a lab setting. The background information and pre-class activity could be used for one day or as homework before the in-class activity. The in-class activity can work with one class period or adjusted as needed. There is a homework assignment that could be included in the in-class activity if using the figure set with a longer time frame such as a lab setting.
This Figure set is suggested for undergraduate students who are towards the end of an introductory ecology course or within an upper-level general ecology, freshwater ecology, ichthyology, or related topic course. The readings and exercises draw on ecological concepts that students should have already learned and provide a chance for critical thinking and analysis skills in understanding how landscape and scale can affect stream fish communities. A glossary is given for students to refresh any terminology knowledge. In this figure set, students examine data from studies in Hungary and the Ozark region (Southern Missouri, Northern/Central Arkansas) to examine land use effects on stream fish. The homework assignment focuses on road crossings as a proxy for urban land cover. The questions guide students to think about the human environment interface throughout the figure set.
I would like to thank Chris Beck for his comments on my initial draft, and the reviewer for their thoughtful comments on improving the final version of this figure set. I would also like to thank the students of my Introduction to Ecology and Evolution summer course for being the first to try out the figure set questions to see where improvements need to be made. Inspiration for this figure set stems from (1) my dissertation work on landscape effects on stream fish metacommunities and (2) my postdoc work on students’ abilities to create and interpret graphs in a biological context.
Lauren Stoczynski. September 2023. Patterns and processes in landscape ecology: land use interactions with stream fish communities across scales. Teaching Issues and Experiments in Ecology, Vol. 19: Practice #6. https://tiee.esa.org/vol/v19/issues/figure_sets/stoczynski/abstract.html