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Student Instructions

For each assignment, you will use the M.U.S.E. link to complete the lab. Access the M.U.S.E. by clicking on Learning Materials.

In this lab, you will determine how an invasive species—the zebra and quagga mussel—affects other species in the freshwater lake. Use the animation to help you come up with an answer to the following:

  • Why do you see increases and decreases in the invasive species population?
  • What are the implications associated with these alterations to the ecosystem as a whole?

The Effects of Zebra and Quagga Mussels Introduced into a Freshwater Lake

As you have learned, population dynamics are caused by the biotic potential of the population and the effects of environmental resistance. When there is minimal environmental resistance impacting a population, it will exhibit a population explosion. One reason for minimal resistance could be factors that no longer regulate a population (e.g., predator decline or resource increases). Another reason for a population explosion is the introduction of an invasive species. Invasive speciesare species foreign to an ecosystem and are not immediately regulated by the environmental restraints of the particular ecosystem that they invade. This in turn allows their populations to grow seemingly uncontrolled and to displace other indigenous populations. Examples of such an invasive species into North America are dreissenid mussels, commonly known as zebra and quagga mussels. Their introduction into the Great Lakes has caused economic hardship and a reorganization of the ecosystem. This has led, in part, to pollution-causing effects that can be linked to an alga known as Cladophora.

Ecosystems are webs of intricately balanced interactions, what happens when a new species is introduced that uses a disproportionate share of the ecosystem’s resources?

Using the M.U.S.E. link, review the background information and animation to complete your report.

Use the Lab 5 worksheetfor assignment instructions and data collection.

Please submit your completed assignment.

Grading Category Category Criteria Percentage and Points Possible
Purpose of Assignment and Content Development Use of appropriate, relevant, and compelling content that expresses topic, main idea, and purpose.

45% (90 of 200 points)

Organization, Grammar, and Presentation Organized and complete lab report/worksheet with all relevant information as indicated and outlined on the worksheet. Language clearly and effectively communicates ideas and content relevant to the assignment.

30% (60 of 200 points)

Critical Thinking Demonstrates ability to analyze assumptions, evaluate evidence, complexities of issues, and alternatives.

20% (40 of 200 points)

Information Literacy and Research Demonstrates good selection and use of high quality, credible, and relevant sources to develop ideas that are appropriate to the assignment. Includes correct in-text citations.

5% (10 of 200 points)

For assistance with your assignment, please use your text, Web resources, and all course materials.

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