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Invasive Species Simulations


Found In: science, 6-8, 9-12

Invasive Species is a generalized simulation for students in grades 6-12. An introduction discusses the effects of globalization, pathways and vectors, and responses to invasive species. The Simulation provides instructions. Using sliders students can adjust birth rate and inward and outward aggression for two species, Red and Blue. Red is the indigenous species. After setting birth and aggression rates, students click a location on the island to start the simulation. Students observe the behavior of Blue. Does Blue take over the island or does it get destroyed? What conditions allow Blue to take over quickly? Can an equilibrium state be achieved? Can Blue survive in one area?

Bug Hunt Predators and Invasive Species is a more complex simulation that explores how the stability of predator-prey ecosystem is affected when a new species is introduced. Students in grades 6-12 can set how long and at what speed a simulation runs and adjust the area of grassland, number of bugs and birds, the reproductive energy of birds, and food (grass) requirement for bugs. They can choose to burn a percentage of grassland and to introduce an invasive species, mice in this case, and set the amount of food mice require. A basic predator-prey simulation without an invasive species is available: Wolf Sheep Predation.

 

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