This laboratory is based on a series of famous experiments that were conducted in the 1960’s along the rocky shore of Washington state, in the northwestern United States…The nine species in this laboratory’s simulated rocky intertidal area include three different algae (including one you may have eaten in a Japanese restaurant); three stationary (or “sessile”) filter-feeders; and three mobile consumers (Keystone Predator Student Workbook). In this simulation there are nine different species. The Nori Seaweed, Black Pine, Coral Weed, Mussels, Acorn Barnacles, Gooseneck Barnacles, Whelk, Chiton, and Starfish. The Nori seaweed, Black Pine, and Coral Weed are all algae, which means they live in damp environments and are plant like and have chlorophyll. Having chlorophyll they make their own food through photosynthesis, the fact they can make their own food makes them autotrophs or producers, and are the lowest on the trophic level. The Acorn barnacles, mussels, and gooseneck barnacles are the filter feeders of this environment they do not move. They are the herbivores of this environment and the primary consumers on the trophic level. The whelk, chiton, and starfish are the only mobile species in this environment. Also they are the only carnivores in the environment and are secondary consumers on the trophic level. Hypothesis
The chiltons eat all the algae (Nori seaweed, Black Pine, and Coral Weed) in the environment. The whelk eats both barnacles (Gooseneck barnacles and the acorn barnacles). The starfish eat the mussels and the gooseneck barnacles. With this in mind I took out the secondary consumers, to see what would happen with the primary consumers if they had no threat of being consumed by predators. What happened was the mussels became better at attaining space and moved the algae and barnacles, therefore becoming competitively dominant. this makes me wonder if I introduce the starfish (the predator to the mussel) will the mussel take over...
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