User Tools

Site Tools


Activity 05: Field and laboratory experiment

Field study and laboratory experiment

Objective: Being able to gather and represent factual information, explaining correlations and getting to know the difference between field study and laboratory experiment.
Learning outcomes: Learners are able to collect information in the field appropriately and target-oriented. They’re able to structure and represent it as well as to differentiate between field study and laboratory experiment.
Previous knowledge: Identifying plants and creating graphs.
Duration: Approx. 60 min.
Materials / Conditions:
- Two open spaces exposed to similar environmental conditions, such as location, temperature, humidity or soil conditions, are required. One of these is used as pasture land for livestock, i.e. goats, cows or chicken, the other one is protected from grazing cattle.
- Differences between field study and laboratory experiment (cf. “resources” section)
- Encyclopaedia or website on botany where domestic plants are listed with pictures
(for Cabo Verde go to:
Methods / Techniques: Observing, describing, finding correlations, creating and analysing graphs.
Learning subject: Biodiversity / Module 3: Collection and Analysis of Biodiversity Data / Level: advanced learning

There are two open spaces located in front of us. Livestock is grazing on one of them while the other is protected from human or animal influence. These two open spaces are the basis of our experiments. Those two green spaces feature a different level of plant diversity.

a) Name the plants you can find on each of the open spaces. For this, you should use a plot of 2×2 m within each green area. Advice: Use an encyclopaedia on botany or the internet if you’re not familiar with any of the plants’ names.

b) Determine the amount of plants of each species on each of the open spaces. Represent the information in a diagram

c) Compare both diagrams and come up with causes for the difference in plant diversity by referring to information on the difference between field study and laboratory experiment. Hint: Find out which open space belongs to which category first.

Laboratory Experiment: Artificially-created situation, strong control over experimental conditions, particular premises, manipulation of independent variables

Field study: Familiar surroundings, hardly any control over experimental situation, natural environment, high external validity (universal validity)

Possible results / Results:
- Being able to determine plant species, gaining information independently (using encyclopaedias or searching the internet)
- Specific entry of quantities and appropriate data representation
- Being able to notice correlations in relation to the experiment e.g. lower plant diversity as a result of human interference
- Being able to differentiate between field study and laboratory experiment

Related activities:

Author: Leonie Muy and Sandra Schöffer
Aus dem Deutschen übersetzt von Jana Prokaka

en/learning/courses/subjects/s01/m03/advanced-learning/a05.txt · Last modified: 2015/09/15 09:52 by sschoeffer