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Activity 03: Analysis data

Predator-prey relationships represented in graphs

Objective: Learners are supposed to gain relevant information on predator-prey relationships from a text and to represent that information in a graph. This step is followed by an analysis of the information obtained previously.
Learning outcomes: Learners are able to use fundamental strategies of gaining information from a text. They are able to filter geographically relevant information out of a written text and to relate that information. Additionally, they are able to represent the information gained in an appropriate way, i.e. a graph.
Previous knowledge: Knowledge about data analysis and its forms of representation, Knowledge about data application and analysis.
Duration: 60 min
Materials / Conditions: 1 text (cf. Resource 1)
Methods / Techniques: Reading comprehension, evaluation, prioritization, transfer, competence of design.
Learning subject: Biodiversity / Module 3: Collection, processing and analysis of environmental data / Level: Expert Learning

To explain the interaction of two species, the predator-prey relationship is used as an example in this unit.

Read the text (Resource 1).
1. Chose a suitable form of presentation and develop a graph that visualizes the predator-prey relationship.

2. Analyze your diagram and give a reasonable forecast about the relationship’s future development.

Resource 1:
In order to describe environmental processes, ecologists have come up with models whose purpose is to represent reality as precisely as possible. One of these models is called “predator-prey model”. The “predator-prey cycle” is a VORGANG one can observe with many different animal species. In this case, we are going to focus on rabbits (prey) and lynx (predators). According to counts an estimated amount of 700 rabbits were living in a certain area in North America in 1950. These rabbits served, among others, as prey to lynx of which approximately 350 lived in the designated area. Counts were also carried out in the following years. In 1951, there were 12,000 rabbits and 250 lynx, in 1952 the amount of rabbits increased to 19,000 and that of lynx decreased to 200. However, there was a turn the following year. There were 23,000 rabbits in 1953, but the number of lynx also increased to 400. In 1957, the amount of rabbits decreased to a number of 18,000 and lynx spawned to 500 individuals. These numbers decreased slowly until 1961, when there were only 350 lynx and 7,000 rabbits.

Possible results / Results:
1. Line chart is specifically suitable for solving this task

2. The higher the rabbit population increases, the higher increases the population of lynx. As rabbits are prey to lynx and get eaten, their population decreases automatically. Therefore, the population of lynx decreases as they suffer from a shortage of their basic source of nutrition. The forecast is supposed to show that there’s a recurrent change between the population sizes of both species.

(Source:, vgl. auch: Letzter Zugriff: 31.07.2015)

Related activities:

Author: Natalia Roth and Dennis Spieß
Aus dem Deutschen übersetzt von Jana Prokaka

en/learning/courses/subjects/s01/m03/expert-learning/a03.txt · Last modified: 2015/09/15 11:27 by sschoeffer