ecology lab practical final

1. Create a hypothesis to explain the observation. Observation: Hiking trails with more human foot traffic have less woody vegetation (e.g, trees) than hiking trails with less human traffic. ((We hypothesize that there is a difference between the amount of woody vegetation around well-trafficked hiking trails and hiking trails with less human foot traffic)). 2. Design an experiment to test this hypothesis. ((Set up 3ft-by-3ft quadrats along random locations around well-trafficked and low-traffic hiking trails. Record any woody vegetation within each quadrat.)) 3. Make a prediction about your result. ((If our observation is true, then hiking trails with less human foot traffic will have a significantly larger species richness than there is in along hiking trails with more human foot traffic. )) 4. Choose the appropriate data set from the provided excel file (i.e., choose the data set that is in a format that matches the format of the data you would have collected from your experiment). Each data set is on a different tab within this excel file. You can assign your own units to the data and ignore issues with the data regarding scale and realistic values. For example, if you were measuring in number of individuals in a quadrat but the data has decimals or you were measuring Shannon Index and the values are WAY too high for that type of measurement, that’s okay. We will understand your results/graphs. DO NOT ALTER THE DATA. 5. Perform an appropriate statistical analysis on these data. 6. Write up your result in a manuscript-style paper that includes: a. An introduction that consists only of the alternative hypothesis, null hypothesis, and prediction. b. A complete methods section describing your experiment design. This methods section should follow all the rules discussed in lab. c. A complete results section (including results statement and properly formatted graphs). This results section should follow all the rules discussed in lab. To ensure accurate grading, please make it clear which of the provided data sets you used in your analysis. d. A discussion section that follows all the rules discussed in lab (two paragraphs or so would be sufficient). This section should: i. Cite at least one peer-reviewed journal article with a properly formatted parenthetical citation ii. Interpret and discuss the biological significance of your result (using the citation(s) for support) iii. Discusses future directions for research e. A references section containing properly formatted full citation(s) for the journal article(s) cited in your discussion section.

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