Jan 16, 2022  

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BIO 123 - Survey of Michigan Plant Communities

Credits: 2
Discusses the influence of physical factors on the varieties of plant communities. Uses the interdependency of organisms as an underlying theme. Examines effects of humans on the nature of plant communities. Emphasizes fieldwork and use of field keys and reference materials for plant identification. Taught primarily in the field. Requires a weekend field trip.

Corequisite(s): None
Lecture Hours: 30 Lab Hours: 0
Meets MTA Requirement: Social Science
Pass/NoCredit: Yes

Outcomes and Objectives
  1. Participate in the process of science.
    1. Make observations.
    2. Design experiments.
    3. Conduct experiments.
    4. Formulate and test hypotheses.
    5. Collect data.
    6. Analyze data.
    7. Draw conclusions.
    8. Report results.
    9. Explain the evaluation and revision process of science.
  2. Work collaboratively with classmates.
    1. Participate in field activities with 1-3 classmates.
    2. Share the workload of small group activities.
    3. Share the responsibility of acquiring, cleaning, and putting away sampling equipment.
    4. Share ideas and respectfully receive the ideas of classmates.
  3. Demonstrate the competent use of common instruments and technology used in environmental investigation.
    1. Use the metric system and typical devices to measure mass, length, volume, and temperature.
    2. Follow directions provided with various kinds of scientific equipment.
    3. Use a pH meter.
  4. Competently communicate about environmental topics.
    1. Read critically.
    2. Write effectively.
    3. Listen actively.
    4. Speak actively.
    5. Develop and interpret graphs and flow charts.
    6. Compile a journal of activities and impressions obtained in outdoor settings while experiencing different kinds of ecosystems.
  5. Demonstrate the ability to think critically.
    1. Integrate concepts.
    2. Solve problems.
    3. Draw logical conclusions.
    4. Make predictions based on evidence.
    5. Identify trends and patterns.
    6. Distinguish between simple correlation and cause-and-effect.
  6. Demonstrate appropriate preparation to participate in outdoor field activities in the winter.
    1. Participate in field activities and use appropriate equipment to conduct the field activities.
    2. Select appropriate clothing and equipment for the outdoor setting in late spring or early summer.
    3. Demonstrate safe and appropriate behavior while conducting field activities.
    4. Use keys and resource books to identify organisms and their activities in the field.
    5. Measure and characterize physical environmental characteristics.
    6. Report the results of outdoor studies conducted during the class.
  7. Describe how living organisms, non-living matter, and energy are interconnected.
    1. Identify the abiotic and biotic factors in an ecosystem.
    2. Describe the niche concept.
    3. Differentiate between a community and an ecosystem.
    4. List components of an ecosystem.
    5. Describe the role of producer, herbivore, carnivore, omnivore, scavenger, parasite, and decomposer in an ecosystem.
    6. Describe energy flow in an ecosystem.
    7. Relate the concept of food web and food chain to trophic levels.
    8. Explain the cycling of nutrients, such as nitrogen, carbon, and phosphorous, through an ecosystem.
    9. Describe the process of natural selection as it operates to refine the fit between an organism and its habitat.
    10. Recognize that all organisms have an impact on their surroundings.
    11. Relate physical environmental factors to the kinds of organisms found in a community.
  8. Describe the various factors that influence biotic communities change and determine the kinds of climax communities typical of Michigan.
    1. Recognize the difference between primary and secondary succession.
    2. Describe the process of succession from pioneer to climax community in both terrestrial and aquatic situations.
    3. Identify physical and biological characteristics of open grasslands, deciduous forest, boreal forest, marsh, bog, and swamp
    4. Recognize the physical environmental factors that determine the kind of climax community that will develop in an area.
    5. Describe the role of soil type, hydrology, local physiographic features, fire, seed sources, and historical land use patterns have in determining the nature of a plant community.
    6. Describe the characteristics of soil and how different soil types influence plant communities.
    7. Describe the structure of a plant community including canopy trees, understory trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants.

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