Quadrats to Biodiversity
Can one square meter predict the health of our ecosystem?
“Quadrats” are rectangular frames used to mark out sample areas in order to gather data about the environmental qualities within those areas. In this project, students conduct a quadrat survey in order to investigate the health of a local ecosystem such as their school grounds or a nearby park. They use the data collected to calculate the abundance of different species as both a measure of density (unit rate) and of frequency (percentage). They analyze the health of the ecosystem (using ratios and percentages), either by focusing on an invasive species or by examining the biodiversity of the ecosystem. Students present their findings and discuss their implications in the form of a news article.
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