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Ecosystems

The Basics

Ecosystem info coming soon...

The Details


Lesson Activities

Exploring Food Webs

  1. Go to Wolfram CDF Player and download the free Wolfram Mathematica CDF Player (this was already done on the school computers). Once it is installed you can open the files below in either the CDF Player or in your browser window (the download should install browser plugins for you).
  2. Food Web Shortest and Longest Path - download this file and run it in the CDF Player to explore shortest and longest paths in food webs. You may have to click on 'enable dynamics' in the upper right corner to see the graphs.
  3. Food Web Remove Species - open this file in the CDF Player (or your browser if you have the CDF plugin) and explore the effect of removing species from an ecosystem. You may have to click on 'enable dynamics' in the upper right corner to see the graphs.
  4. Food Web Remove Species Weighted - open this file to explore the effect of weighted edges in a food web. You may have to click on 'enable dynamics' in the upper right corner to see the graphs.

Predator-Prey Dynamics

  1. NetLogo is an excellent piece of modelling software that is also free cool. You can choose to download and install the software on your computer (it is already installed at school) or you can go to their website and run the models from there using Java. The advantage to downloading the actual program is that you can directly alter the code of each model and create models of your own, which is very cool!
  2. Go to the NetLogo model Wolf Sheep Predation (docked) and read about the model and then run it. Change the variables and see their effect on the model. Which variable(s) seem to have the biggest effect with only small changes?
  3. Go to the NetLogo model Wolf Sheep Predation and read about and run the model. This model includes the effect of grass on the system. Try to stabilize the model with the grass off, then reset the model to its original conditions and turn the grass 'on'. Before running the model, try to predict what a stable system would look like. Run the model - does it seem to be stable? Does it match your prediction? Now change the variables with the grass 'on' and see what effects that has.

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