The interdependence of living organisms and related ecology concepts are often difficult for students to grasp if they only study them from textbooks. To really understand how habitat fragmentation affects biodiversity, it is best to allow students to study it in the field. In the activities described here, I used inquiry as a basis for experiential learning. Focusing on two natural areas of unequal size, students investigated the areas to assess arthropod species richness and examine whether it was correlated with the size of the area. By establishing 10 daily observation periods and identifying arthropods in each session, students observed firsthand the relationship of species richness to biodiversity and that the size of the natural area was not significant. This translated to a greater understanding of biodiversity and its role in the relationships of living organisms in a local ecosystem. Students also gained valuable insight into how scientific studies are conducted.
Studying Arthropod Species Richness in a School-Yard Natural Area: Using Inquiry to Engage Student Interest in Scientific Studies
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Jeffrey A. Baker; Studying Arthropod Species Richness in a School-Yard Natural Area: Using Inquiry to Engage Student Interest in Scientific Studies. The American Biology Teacher 1 September 2016; 78 (7): 575–579. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/abt.2016.78.7.575
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