Jeremy L. Hsu
Schmid College of Science and Technology, Chapman University, Orange, CA 92866
Maize (also known as corn) has played an important role in human agriculture ever since its domestication by indigenous peoples of Mexico some 10,000 years ago. The crop is now planted across the world, including in China. However, several invasive pests, including the fall armyworm Spodoptera frugiperda, have threatened this crop and lowered yield. Eupeodes corollae, an endemic syrphid hoverfly, has been proposed as a biological control agent. Here, students will explore the antagonistic relationship between S. frugiperda and E. corollae, with both species feeding on larvae of the other species, and learn about type III functional responses. This Figure Set teaches about a reciprocally antagonistic ecological system, with systems and evolution being cross-cutting themes of the 4-Dimensional Ecology Education (4DEE) framework. In addition, this Figure Set also facilitates students' examination of environmental ethics (as pertaining to biological control agents) and agricultural ecosystems, allowing for students to learn about human-environment interactions.
FOUR DIMENSIONAL ECOLOGY EDUCATION (4DEE) FRAMEWORK
- Core Ecological Concepts:
- Trophic levels
- Ecology Practices:
- Quantitative reasoning and computational thinking
- Data analysis and interpretation
- Designing and critiquing investigations
- Evaluating claims
- Working collaboratively
- Human-Environment Interactions:
- Environmental ethics
- How humans shape and manage resources/ecosystems/the environment
- Agricultural ecosystems
- Cross-cutting Themes:
- Spatial and temporal
Instructors can collect responses to the questions in this Figure Set as a formative assessment or may alternatively wish to transform some of these questions into multiple-choice clicker questions as students are working on the Figure Set.
One 75-minute class period
Mid- to upper-level ecology class for biology majors; requires students to be familiar with predator-prey interactions, trophic levels, interspecific competition, evolutionary mechanisms, and type I and II functional responses. This Figure Set could be used in conjunction with Jean et al. (2023), which introduces Type I and Type II functional responses (https://tiee.esa.org/vol/v19/issues/figure_sets/jean/abstract.html).
This Figure Set was created because of the Ecological Society of America's Transforming Ecology Education Faculty Mentoring Network, which is funded by a National Science Foundation grant (DBI 2120678). I thank Linda Auker, Rosny Jean, and Suann Yang for ideas and feedback on this Figure Set, Christopher Beck for guidance and support learning about the 4DEE framework, and all the instructors and participants of ESA's Transforming Ecology Education Faculty Mentoring Network for their support.
Jeremy L. Hsu. October 2023. An inquiry-based approach for teaching Type III functional responses in ecology. Teaching Issues and Experiments in Ecology, Vol. 19: Practice #9. https://tiee.esa.org/vol/v19/issues/figure_sets/hsu/abstract.html