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Species study experiment

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You are conducting fieldwork at your Week 5 topic site and discover two groups of organisms (i.e. fish, tree, mammals, etc. - pick a specific organism to examine) living on opposite sides of a natural divider in your week 5 topic site (mountain/lake/etc. - pick a natural divider). How would you design a study/experiment to determine whether these two groups belong to the same species without disturbing the organisms? Explain.

Helpful thoughts: What is the definition of a species? How does this help you to know what to look for? What are some things that indicate that organisms belong to different species? How might natural selection led to changes in the organisms? What makes a good experiment?

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Before I help you design an experiment, I have to define speciation. There are many definitions of speciation. Some scientists define species by morphology( structural features), some define species in terms of an organism's role or niche in the environment, some define a species based on the fossil record of an organism. All these definitions have advantages and disadvantages. However, in this answer I will use the biological definition of a species. It is as follows: a group of populations in which the organisms have the potential to successfully ...

Solution Summary

This solution briefly discusses how to design an experiment to determine whether or not 2 groups of organisms are the same species. It includes a brief discussion of a sample hypothetical experiment one could conduct given the parameters listed below in the question.

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Choose two non-human species that interact with each other, such as bees and flowers, or predator and prey species, or two species that compete

Start with an Introduction/Observation and move through the steps of the Scientific Method as outlined below. Not really doing the experiment just writing down what you would do to test your hypothesis.

Start by observing the living species around you. Ever wonder why a pollinator is attracted to a particular flower, or what would happen to predator species if a particular prey species is eliminated? If you were a scientist you could do an experiment to answer your question.

Start with an Introduction/Observation and move through the steps of the Scientific Method as outlined below.

Observations / Introduction: Describe your observation. Include background information about your observations that you have found using references. List and cite references using APA format.

Question: Ask a question about the observation that you have made.

Hypothesis: Write a statement that describes your explanation for the observation and question.

Prediction: What do you predict as outcomes (results) of this experiment? (An "If ... Then" Statement)

Controlled Experiment and Methods: Describe the experiment, variables to be held constant, variable to be tested, and controls. What data will be collected? Keep this simple and test only one variable at a time; holding the others constant.

Results: Give the results (data) for the experiment. This will be created (imagined) by you since you are not actually doing this experiment.

Conclusion / Discussion: Do you reject or accept the hypothesis based on the results? Discuss what this means in terms of the hypothesis, or need for additional experiments, or perhaps practical use of the results.

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