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Interdependence of Species

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1. Explain how the ecosystem was affected by the missing species for each round of the demonstration.

a. Round 1 = Humans are the biggest cause in the decline of our neighbored species and the ecosystem would be better affected if Human interference was nonexistent. b. Round 2 = Lichen provides and abundance of absorption and protection for humans and climates and without lichen we wouldn’t have the oxygen to survive. c. Round 3 = Bees are the source of pollination and without that trees, plants and humans wouldn’t not be able to properly nourish their bodies. d. Round 4 = Flowers are the source of survival for bees, trees, and humans.

2. Provide one action we as humans engage in that leads to the extinction of each of these components.

Action affecting Lichens = The pollution of the air is a major factor because lichen soaks every particle in their direction, which includes air pollution. Action affecting Trees = The constant destruction of trees is the one and only factor. Action affecting Flowers = The lack of care and appreciation for flowers which makes them vulnerable for destruction by humans. Action affecting Bees = Eliminating pollination is the cause of bees, specifically honey bees declining.

3. Provide three specific actions that humans can take to minimize our impact on the ecosystem and ensure the survival of lichens, trees, flowers, and bees.

Action 1 = Getting to know and understand your ecological footprint (footprint calculator). Action 2 = Understanding the true benefits of recycling, reusing, and saving. Action 3 = Becoming consumer conscious by being a selective and environmentally effective shopper.

Experiment 1: Diversity of Plants
Table 2: Number of Each Plant Species Present in Pot 1 and Pot 2 Species Observed
Number in Pot 1(sunlight)
Number in Pot 2(shade)


1. Develop a hypothesis on which pot you believe will contain the highest biodiversity.

Hypothesis = The following plants will contain the highest biodiversity in the sunlight.

2. Based on the results of your experiment, would you reject or accept the hypothesis that you produced in question 1? Explain how you determined this.

Accept/Reject = Reject. I figured the most beneficial approach to plant growth and health was sunlight. A large majority of my pants died due to lack of sunlight. I found out with this experiment that more plant species grew quicker in in the shade than in the sunlight, but the sunlight did have more species than the pots in the shade.

3. If each pot was a sample you found in a group of wildflowers, would you determine based on the diversity of flowers that the ecosystem is healthy? Why or why not.

Answer = Yes. I would determine that the ecosystem would be healthy if a pot was a sample found in a group of wildflowers because the body of the plants took on a healthier form than the shaded plants. The shaded plants had a quicker stem of growth but they didn’t “bloom” as appropriately as they did when they had natural light. The shaded plants lacked nutrients that are only developed through sunlight. In article called, Ask a Master Gardener, the author states, “Sunlight should be carefully considered when selecting plants for your garden. All plants need sunlight to photosynthesize…the process by which light, chlorophyll, energy, carbon dioxide and water interact within the plant to produce the sugar it needs to survive”(Blakely, 2010).

4. How does biodiversity contribute to the overall health of an ecosystem? Provide specific examples and utilize at least one scholarly resource to back your answer.

Answer = Biodiversity is the sole reason living things exist in our ecosystem. We fail to realize that one being cannot survive without the other and it is our job to embrace and help our environment grow. If we continue to drive other species to extinction then we can say goodbye to our world as we know it. In an online publication called Multiple Functions Increase the Importance of Biodiversity for Overall Ecosystem Functioning it states, “To examine the importance of diversity for the overall functioning of ecosystems, it is important to analyze quantitatively the effect of species loss on multiple functions. We hypothesized that as several functions are considered jointly, the importance of biodiversity will become apparent, even though single functions do not depend on a mixture of different species or groups” (Gamfeldt et.al, 2008).


KLEIN, D. R., & SHULSKI, M. (2011). The Role of Lichens, Reindeer, and Climate in Ecosystem Change on a Bering Sea Island. Arctic, 64(3), 353-361. Reduce your impact. (n.d.). Retrieved April 6, 2015, from http://wwf.panda.org/how_you_can_help/live_green/ A Review of Factors that put pollinators and agriculture in Europe at Risk. (2013, January 1).Greenpeace Research Laboratories Technical Report, 3-23. Human Impact and Intervention (Human Impact and Intervention) http://biology.clc.uc.edu/courses/bio303/human%20interactions.htm

Return to Lichen Biology and the Environment (Lichens and Ecosystems) http://www.lichen.com/environment.html

Blakely, C. (2010). Ask a Master Gardener. The Laurens County Master Gardener Association, (XXXIII). Gamfeldt, L., Hillebrand, H., & Jonsson, P. (2008). MULTIPLE FUNCTIONS INCREASE THE IMPORTANCE OF BIODIVERSITY FOR OVERALL ECOSYSTEM FUNCTIONING. CONCEPTS & SYNTHESIS EMPHASIZING NEW IDEAS TO STIMULATE RESEARCH IN ECOLOGY, 89, 1223-1231.

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