Document Type

Article

Publication Date

4-2018

Abstract

THE ECOLOGICAL QUESTION

Do two species of ocean-foraging birds detect and respond to a chemical cue which is linked to their food source, and how might differences in their natural history help to explain any variation in sensitivity?

ECOLOGICAL CONTENT

Foraging, trophic cascades, chemical ecology, behavioral ecology, Antarctic food webs

WHAT STUDENTS DO

This dataset is designed for first-year biology students, but can be altered for upper-level students. After receiving sufficient background on the biology of King penguins, students must make hypotheses regarding the penguins’ sensitivity to an odor known to be associated with the primary productivity of the ocean. Students are given multiple data sets and need to analyze the data using a variety of statistical tests. Students work in pairs to examine and analyze the data, and then as a group generate conclusions to develop the larger picture. To give students a chance to apply their knowledge beyond penguins, a second dataset with other seabirds is introduced. Here students must contrast the results of seabirds to this odor against the responses of King penguins. For successful completion of the assignment, students must recognize how differences in the natural history between the two groups of birds might impact their sensitivities towards the odor.

SKILLS

Hypothesis creation, statistical analyses, graph creation, graph interpretation, phylogenetic tree interpretation, manipulating datasets and formulas in MSExcel, MSPowerpoint slide creation, synthesizing knowledge, drawing conclusions

STUDENT-ACTIVE APPROACHES

Guided inquiry, cooperative learning, jigsaw, critical thinking

ASSESSABLE OUTCOMES

Hypotheses creation, statistical results using MSExcel, figure creation using MSExcel, slides produced using MSPowerpoint, answers to questions

SOURCE

Bonadonna, F., S. Caro, P. Jouventin, and G.A. Nevitt. 2006. Evidence that blue petrel, Halobaena caerulea, fledglings can detect and orient to dimethyl sulfide. Journal of Experimental Biology 209:2165-2169.

Cunningham, G.B., S. Leclaire, C. Toscani, and F. Bonadonna. 2017. Responses of king penguin Aptenodytes patagonicus adults and chicks to two food-related odours. Journal of Avian Biology 48:235-242.

Comments

Published in Teaching Issues and Experiments in Ecology, Vol. 13: Practice #8. This dataset can also be found on the publisher's website: http://tiee.esa.org/vol/v13/issues/data_sets/bonner/abstract.html

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