# Regents Biology LAB. STUDY OF POPULATION DENSITY ON A SUBURBAN LAWN

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2 5. Count the number of each plant species in each rectangle of your quadrat and record the population size in Table 1 on the following page. You can first use tic marks in the table and then write in a number as a final count for each rectangle when you are done. 6. Using the symbols shown alongside the plant diagrams (Figure 2), also plot the approximate location of the plants on your quadrat drawing below (Figure 1). 7. Total the number of each plant species in Table 1. These totals will be shared with the class, once we return to the classroom. 8. Copy the class data in Table 2. Total each column to get the class totals for the lawn. Now we want to calculate the average population density for the lawn. This will be expressed in plants/meter 2. Figure 1. YOUR QUADRAT Population density of four weed species in a suburban lawn. string 2 of 6

3 Figure 2. Common New York State Lawn Weed Species Dandelion White Clover Buckhorn Broadleaf 3 of 6

4 Table 1. GROUP Data Number of Plants in a 1 meter Quadrat Quadrat Section 1 Dandelion White Clover Buckhorn Broadleaf Total Table 2. CLASS Data Population Densities of Plants in a Community Class Group 1 Dandelion White Clover Buckhorn Broadleaf Total Population Density /m 2 /m 2 /m 2 /m 2 4 of 6

5 SUMMARY QUESTIONS 1. To show that you understand the concept, list 4 examples of biotic factors in the local ecological community. 2. To show that you understand the concept, list 4 examples of abiotic factors in the local ecological community. 3. Explain the term biodiversity. 4. Which plant species had the highest population density? 5. Which plant species had the lowest population density? 6. What environmental factors might affect the population densities of these plants? Explain. 7. When these lawns were originally planted, only grass seed was sprinkled on the lawn. Then where did the other plants come from? 5 of 6

6 8. If you look under the older trees around the lawn, you will notice a lot less grass growing there, even leaving bare spots. Offer an ecological reason for why this is the case. 9. Would you consider a suburban lawn to be a high or low biodiversity community? Explain. 10. What do you think would happen to the lawn if no one mowed it anymore and it was left alone for the next 30 years. Explain. 11. What is meant by carrying capacity? 12. Why is the class average a better measure of the population density for the lawn than using the counts from an individual group s quadrat? 6 of 6

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