Lesson Worksheet: Investigating Ecosystems Biology

In this worksheet, we will practice recalling how to sample ecosystems to estimate population sizes, and investigate the distribution and abundance of organisms in their environment.

Q1:

Which of the following techniques will ensure that samples with a quadrat are taken randomly? Select all that apply.

  • AThe area to be sampled is separated into grids, and the person sampling starts at the first grid and samples all until they reach the end.
  • BThe area to be sampled is separated into numbered grids, and a random number generator is used to choose sample areas.
  • CThe person sampling identifies the areas of the field where the species being sampled shows the most abundance, and then they place the quadrat there.

Q2:

A student wants to investigate how the abundance of daisies changes from a shaded area to an unshaded one. Which method of sampling should they use?

  • ARandom sampling
  • BLine transect sampling

Q3:

Which of the following best defines random sampling?

  • ARandom sampling is a method of randomly selecting organisms to investigate in an area.
  • BRandom sampling is a method of preselecting the samples to ensure only productive areas are chosen.
  • CRandom sampling is a method of selecting samples by chance, and every sample has an equal probability of being chosen.
  • DRandom sampling is a method of selecting samples to ensure the best results.

Q4:

A general method for using a line transect is outlined below, with some key words removed:

  1. Lay a tape measure along the ground.
  2. Place X at the first measurement point.
  3. Record the Y of your selected organism.
  4. Repeat at Z intervals.

Which of the following words would correctly replace X?

  • AA quadrat
  • BA sample
  • CA tape measure
  • DA student

Which of the following words would correctly replace Y?

  • AType
  • BColor
  • CAbundance
  • DAppearance

Which of the following words would correctly replace Z?

  • AA few
  • BRandom
  • CRegular
  • DSignificant

Q5:

A student wants to estimate the general abundance of dandelions in a large field. What method of sampling should they use?

  • ALine transect sampling
  • BRandom sampling

Q6:

The graph provided shows the effect of shade on the number of different plant species in a given area. What is the trend shown by these results?

  • AThe more shaded an area is, the more plant species can grow in it.
  • BThe less shaded an area is, the more plant species can grow in it.
  • CThere is no correlation between shade and number of plant species.

Q7:

Quadrats can be used to estimate the numbers of slow-moving animals. Example results for an investigation into the abundance of slugs in a field are provided in the table.

Sample12345678910
Number of Slugs4324361213

Calculate the mean number of slugs per quadrat, giving your answer to one decimal place.

Q8:

A quadrat can be used to estimate the distribution of species in an area. What is meant by distribution?

  • ADistribution is how far organisms have to travel to find mates.
  • BDistribution is where a species is found within a given area or ecosystem.
  • CDistribution is how much space is available between different species in an ecosystem.
  • DDistribution is how common a particular species is in a given area or ecosystem.

Q9:

A quadrat can be used to estimate the abundance of a species in a given area. What is meant by abundance?

  • AAbundance is how common a particular species is in a given area or ecosystem.
  • BAbundance is how well adapted a particular species is for a given area or ecosystem.
  • CAbundance is how frequently an organism visits a particular area or ecosystem.
  • DAbundance is where a species is found within a given area or ecosystem.

Q10:

A student used a quadrat to sample how many flowers were present in an area of a school field. The student then drew the results, which are provided here. What is the abundance of flowers present in this quadrat?

This lesson includes 9 additional questions and 4 additional question variations for subscribers.

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