Field Investigations: Bug Biodiversity and Ecosystem Benefits

Field Investigations: Bug Biodiversity and Ecosystem Benefits

In these field investigations, students explore the effects of biofuel crop production on invertebrate diversity and the effects those organisms have on pollination rates and weed seed predation. Teachers can choose from a suite of six field-sampling methods for investigations of school-yard biofuel plots, agricultural fields or existing natural communities. To help students see connection to real-world problems and research questions, combine field investigations with the Entomology Detectives research story and the Farming for Beetles Bees and Biomass data analysis activities.

Grade Level Kindergarten through Undergraduate (K-16); Nonformal learning
Subjects Biology, Environmental Science, Agriculture
Resource Type Investigation
Concepts/Skills biodiversity, arthropods, ecosystem services, population and community ecology, data analysis, scientific argumentation, sustainability
Time Required Three to five 50-minute class periods.
Prior Knowledge Basic understanding of meanings and importance of biodiversity, the roles of invertebrates (insects) in ecosystems, plant-insect interactions (i.e. pollination, predation) and some experience conducting scientific investigations helpful
Required Supplies Varies depending upon activity. Some investigations require no special materials.
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Field Investigations: Bug Biodiversity and Ecosystem Benefits Package (.zip, 4.6 MB)
Includes: Teacher Instructions and Answer Key, Student Pages, Sample graphs for field investigations, Biodiversity Front Newsletter

Related Resources Peruse this article about GLBRC bug experts collecting data in the field.
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