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Biological and Chemical Diversity

Please respond to the following two questions:

1. Identify two different types of organisms that you have seen interacting, such as bees and flowers. Now form a simple hypothesis about this interaction. Use the scientific method and your imagination to design an experiment that tests this hypothesis. Be sure to identify the variables and a control for them.

2. Select a molecule. List the atoms that that molecule is composed of and describe the type of bond that holds those atoms together. Be sure to explain how this bond works.

Solution Preview

1) Observation: Two organisms I have seen interacting are Wolves and Deer.
Hypothesis-I: The wolf consumes the deer in order to prevent widespread disease in deer populations.
Hypothesis-II: The wolf is necessary for sustainable deer populations.
Experiment: Fence off four sets of 100 000 acres of regional forest with a confined deer population of 1000 deer and respectively 0, 10, 50, and 100 wolves over a five year period. Variables would include age of initial starting populations, ratio of males and females within population, alternate food sources for wolves, limited range and food sources for deer, no other predators or hunting is allowed during the study.

Results End of Year One: Set-1: 0 wolves = 1250 deer live, 10 deer die
Set-2: 10 wolves = 1125 deer live, 125 deer die
Set-3: 50 wolves = 750 deer live, 500 deer die
Set-4: 95 wolves live, 5 wolves die = 0 deer live, 1000 deer die
Results End of Year Two: Set-1: 0 wolves = 1546 deer live, 16 deer die
Set-2: 12 wolves = 1262 deer die, 144 deer die
Set-3: 55 wolves live, 5 wolves die = 338 deer live, 550 deer die
Set-4: 0 wolves live, 95 wolves die = 0 deer live
Results End of Year Three: Set-1: 0 wolves = 1860 deer live, 78 deer die
Set-2: 14 wolves = 1410 deer live, 168 deer die
Set-3: 40 wolves live, 15 wolves die = 23 deer live, 400 deer die
Set-4: 0 wolves = 0 deer
Results End of Year Four: Set-1: 0 wolves = 2139 deer live, 186 deer die
Set-2: 16 wolves = 1571 deer live, 192 deer die
Set-3: 0 wolves live, 40 wolves die = 1 deer lives, 27 deer die
Set-4: 0 wolves = 0 deer
Results End of Year Five: Set-1: 0 wolves = 1599 deer live, 753 deer die
Set-2: 18 wolves live, 2 wolves die = 1748 deer live, 216 deer die
Set-3: 0 wolves = 1 deer lives,
Set-4: 0 wolves = 0 deer

Results Summary: Two wolf pups were annually produced for each pack of 10 wolves. Each wolf required the consumption of an equivalent of 1 deer/month. In Set-2 wolf consumption of deer was maintaining at 11-12% annually and wolf population was increasing by 10-15% annually. In Set-3 wolf consumption of deer decimated deer population in three years. In Set-4 wolf consumption of deer decimated deer population in one year. In Set-3 and Set-4 wolf populations were decimated in two and four years respectively.

Deer populations were reproducing at 25% annually. In Set-1 disease due to mange increased semi-logarithmically (1%, 2%, 8%, 16%, 32%). In Set-2,3,4 death was due primarily to wolf consumption.

Set-1 and Set-2 demonstrated viable deer populations of 1599 and 1748 populations at year end five. A wolf population at ~1% of total deer population is necessary for a sustainable population of both species.

Discussion: As observed over a five-year period the relationship between the wolf and deer was symbiotic with both populations maintaining healthy numbers. Higher than 1% of wolf populations resulted in widespread devastation of deer populations and the subsequent loss of the wolf population due to starvation. The absence of a wolf population allowed higher numbers of deer to reproduce, but increased markedly the incidence of managing a well characterized bacterial disease affecting deer populations that spreads at a high rate in animals in close proximity.

Conclusion: Wolf consumption of deer prevents widespread population induced disease in deer populations. However, wolves are not necessary for sustainable deer populations as disease inevitably returns the deer population to a level commensurate to sustainability.

Aside: A deer dying of mange is a sad, prolonged, and agonizing death characterized by swelling of the skin, loss of hair, emaciation and death due to exposure, malnutrition, immune collapse or secondary disease, it is highly communicable amongst ruminants. As such, from an ecological perspective in consideration that ruminants such as cattle might be affected a stable and sustainable predator prey environment would be a more favourable environment.

2) Water is composed of 2 hydrogen atoms each bound covalently to a single oxygen atom to form a water molecule (H2O). The molecule itself is capable of non-covalent bonds between other H2O molecules.

Covalent bonds, which hold the atoms within an individual molecule together, are formed by the sharing of electrons in the outer atomic orbitals. The distribution of shared as well as un-shared electrons in outer orbitals is a major determinant of the three-dimensional shape and chemical reactivity of molecules.

Each Atom Can Make a Defined Number of Covalent Bonds:

Electrons move around the nucleus of an atom in clouds called ...

Solution Summary

This solution details an example of scientific/biological diversity using the relationship between wolves (predator) and deer (prey) formulating the consequence of these two species in a confined space and how appropriate biodiversification results in sustainable environmental norms. As an aside the hydrogen bond is described in reference to other chemical bonds. This is all completed in 3350 words.