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Investigation 3 – PostLab









Note: Questions marked with a triangle (∆) are included to enrich students’ understanding. These questions do not appear in your SDR but might be used as additional discussion points during the PostLab.

  • ∆ Did Ecosystem ML100 had fewer levels than Ecosystem ML300. 

  • ∆ Ask students why they think some groups found that Ecosystem ML100 supported fewer levels of carnivores than Ecosystem ML300 while other groups did not, given the fact that all groups had equal volumes of beans for each ecosystem. 

  • Note: Remember that even though within your model you could have eliminated this variation by simply determining the total mass of beans for each ecosystem, your results illustrate one of the problems encountered by ecologists when studying ecosystems in real life.
  • ∆ How could you have reduced the variation between groups for total biomass in order to obtain more consistent results when calculating animal numbers. 

Complete the Analysis Questions in your SDR then discuss them as a class. 

  • Compare the two models. How does Ecosystem ML100 differ from Ecosystem ML300? 
  • Compare the amount of plant biomass in each ecosystem. What does the difference in biomass tell you about the amount of energy present in each ecosystem? 
  • Why was Ecosystem ML300 able to support more levels than Ecosystem ML100? 


Complete the Focus Questions in your SDR then discuss them as a class.

  • What is the relationship between the energy and biomass of producers and the levels that an ecosystem can support? 
  • What affects the amount of energy in an ecosystem?