How Many Squirrels Can YOUR Oak Forest Support? (clone)
by: Elijah Henriquez (6 months ago)

Description

The purpose of this project is understand the relationship between the characteristics of an individual forest and the number of squirrels that could be supported by that forest, otherwise described as carrying capacity.

Students first created a model of an oak forest, park, or woodlot using five potential species of oak tree (red, scarlet, pin, white, and black oak) available in three different canopy size classes (small, medium, and large).  Students were given life history information about each the different oak species, but no minimum or maximum number of trees that could be used in their forest model.  Acorn production of the various sizes and species of oaks were provided in order for students to calculate average acorn production (in kg) for the oak species at small, medium, and large canopy diameter, in order to begin calculating their forest's acorn yield and carrying capacity for squirrels.

Students will then upload their forest characteristics data and carrying capacity calculations into iSense in order to compare the data between different forests.

Guiding Questions:

After viewing the visualizations, students will answer the following questions in a formal lab writeup report constructed in Google Docs and to be shared electronically via Google Drive.

1. Create a visualization(s) which help you determine the rank of the forests (1st, 2nd, 3rd... etc) by both carrying capacity and by number of trees.  Include a photo of your own oak forest and identify what rank it was for both Total Trees and for Carrying Capacity.   From your rankings, can you conclude that more trees always means more squirrels?  Explain why or why not.   (Include copies of the visualization(s) which helped you in making these determinations in your write-up.) 3 POINTS

2.  Look for forests having approximately the same number of trees.  Do they have the same carrying capacity?   Explain what forests you observed and what you observed about their characteristics.  3 POINTS

3.  Look for forests having approximately the same carrying capacity.  Were the forests identical?  What explains the differences if they were not identical? Again, what forests helped you make these determinations and what you observed in your explanations.  3 POINTS

4.  Explain how a habitat with less trees can produce more acorns. Use data in your answer.  2 POINTS

5.  You have been hired as the Forest Manager for the town, and you have been directed to produce a 100-tree oak forest that will minimize the number of squirrels that will live there, due to complaints from residents about squirrel damage to private lawns and gardens.  However, the Town Council also wants the forest to be beautiful for its residents and resistant to insect or viral infestations.  Based upon your testimony, the Council will then hire the forestry crew that will implement your recommendations.  (Assume that all sizes and species of trees are available, and that you will simply remove the trees you do not want in the forest, rather than having to wait around for new trees to grow or be planted.) Using the information you have gathered from the class data, what trees will you grow in the forest?  Provide both species and age (size) characteristics of your proposed 100-oak forest, and draft the testimony that you will present to the Town Council as your answer for this question.  7 POINTS

Modified from a Lesson obtained from Ginny Rehberg via the Facebook National APES Teachers discussion group.

Data Sets

Fields
Name Units Type
Forest Name
None
Text
Total Trees
None
Number
Acorns Produced
kilograms
Number
Carrying Capacity
None
Number
Trees per Squirrel
None
Number
Pin Oak Trees
None
Number
White Oak Trees
None
Number
Red Oak Trees
None
Number
Scarlet Oak Trees
None
Number
Black Oak Trees
None
Number
Large Trees
None
Number
Medium Trees
None
Number
Small Trees
None
Number
Formula Fields
Contribute Data
Media
File Name

## How Many Squirrels Can YOUR Oak Forest Support? (clone)

Project #3449 on iSENSEProject.org

Description

The purpose of this project is understand the relationship between the characteristics of an individual forest and the number of squirrels that could be supported by that forest, otherwise described as carrying capacity.

Students first created a model of an oak forest, park, or woodlot using five potential species of oak tree (red, scarlet, pin, white, and black oak) available in three different canopy size classes (small, medium, and large).  Students were given life history information about each the different oak species, but no minimum or maximum number of trees that could be used in their forest model.  Acorn production of the various sizes and species of oaks were provided in order for students to calculate average acorn production (in kg) for the oak species at small, medium, and large canopy diameter, in order to begin calculating their forest's acorn yield and carrying capacity for squirrels.

Students will then upload their forest characteristics data and carrying capacity calculations into iSense in order to compare the data between different forests.

Guiding Questions:

After viewing the visualizations, students will answer the following questions in a formal lab writeup report constructed in Google Docs and to be shared electronically via Google Drive.

1. Create a visualization(s) which help you determine the rank of the forests (1st, 2nd, 3rd... etc) by both carrying capacity and by number of trees.  Include a photo of your own oak forest and identify what rank it was for both Total Trees and for Carrying Capacity.   From your rankings, can you conclude that more trees always means more squirrels?  Explain why or why not.   (Include copies of the visualization(s) which helped you in making these determinations in your write-up.) 3 POINTS

2.  Look for forests having approximately the same number of trees.  Do they have the same carrying capacity?   Explain what forests you observed and what you observed about their characteristics.  3 POINTS

3.  Look for forests having approximately the same carrying capacity.  Were the forests identical?  What explains the differences if they were not identical? Again, what forests helped you make these determinations and what you observed in your explanations.  3 POINTS

4.  Explain how a habitat with less trees can produce more acorns. Use data in your answer.  2 POINTS

5.  You have been hired as the Forest Manager for the town, and you have been directed to produce a 100-tree oak forest that will minimize the number of squirrels that will live there, due to complaints from residents about squirrel damage to private lawns and gardens.  However, the Town Council also wants the forest to be beautiful for its residents and resistant to insect or viral infestations.  Based upon your testimony, the Council will then hire the forestry crew that will implement your recommendations.  (Assume that all sizes and species of trees are available, and that you will simply remove the trees you do not want in the forest, rather than having to wait around for new trees to grow or be planted.) Using the information you have gathered from the class data, what trees will you grow in the forest?  Provide both species and age (size) characteristics of your proposed 100-oak forest, and draft the testimony that you will present to the Town Council as your answer for this question.  7 POINTS

Modified from a Lesson obtained from Ginny Rehberg via the Facebook National APES Teachers discussion group.

Fields
Name Units Type of Data
Forest Name
None
Text
Total Trees
None
Number
Acorns Produced
kilograms
Number
Carrying Capacity
None
Number
Trees per Squirrel
None
Number
Pin Oak Trees
None
Number
White Oak Trees
None
Number
Red Oak Trees
None
Number
Scarlet Oak Trees
None
Number
Black Oak Trees
None
Number
Large Trees
None
Number
Medium Trees
None
Number
Small Trees
None
Number

Our Data
Name(s): ______________________________________
Date: _________________________________________

 Forest Name Total Trees Acorns Produced Carrying Capacity Trees per Squirrel Pin Oak Trees White Oak Trees Red Oak Trees Scarlet Oak Trees Black Oak Trees Large Trees Medium Trees Small Trees