Featured in PASCO’s Advanced Biology through Inquiry Teacher Guide
This manual features 22 challenging, standards-based, inquiry lab activities for AP, IB, and honors programs.
Students use EcoChamber containers and a carbon dioxide gas sensor to estimate energy flow and carbon cycling within a variety of detritus-based ecosystems.
Students set up a variety of simple detritus-based model systems to estimate energy flow and carbon cycling within an ecosystem. Students set up their ecosystem with a known detritivore, a known decomposer, or a combination of both detritivore and decomposer. The teacher provides students with data from two control systems to help interpret changes in the experimental systems.
Energy flux is estimated using gravimetric analysis and the carbon cycle is investigated using a carbon dioxide (CO2) gas sensor. By tracking the movement of energy within these systems, students gain an understanding of the laws of thermodynamics as they relate to energy transfers in ecosystems. Following the Initial Investigation, students design an experiment around an abiotic factor or a biotic component of the system to manipulate or they simply monitor decomposition for a longer time period.
This experiment may require software and an interface for data collection.