Investigation in the Habitat of Woodlice

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LAB REPORT

WOODLICE
Daan Rijpkema May 2009 T4Y - General Science X Words

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Aim..........................................................................................................................................................2 Hypothesis...............................................................................................................................................2 Materials .................................................................................................................................................3 Method ...................................................................................................................................................3 Variables..................................................................................................................................................5 Observations and Results .........................................................................................................................6 Conclusions .............................................................................................................................................9 Evaluation................................................................................................................................................9 Bibliography .......................................................................................................................................... 10

AIM
In this lab, I will predict, perform and interpret the behaviour of woodlice. As woodlice cannot talk or voice their reasoning, I will put them in a certain situation using stimuli and see how they behave. The stimuli used are temperature, light exposure and moisture conditions. By pitting 6 woodlice in a certain situation in which the stimuli is presented in two conditions (i.e. using the light exposure stimuli it would be light and dark) and seeing how they react over a certain time period. In this experiment, I will note down the exact amount of woodlice at each side of the testing perimeter (they are evenly distributed at the start of the experiment) and see how they move and choose a side to stay at every 30 seconds for 2 minutes. This can then be represented in graphical forms and used to draw conclusions on the behaviour of woodlice and their logic. I executed this lab together with my lab partner Sjors Mallon.

HYPOTHESIS
M OISTURE AND LIGHT EXPOSURE
Woodlice will probably prefer dark and damp places, as they can be found in large numbers in those areas. Woodlice need moisture because they breathe through gills, just like fish (woodlice are partially amphibious), and so are usually found in damp, dark places, such as under rocks and logs. They are usually nocturnal1, feeding mostly on dead plant and tree matter. Woodlice then recycle the material back into the soil. In artificial environments such as greenhouses where it can be very moist, a group of woodlice may become overpopulated, which causes damage to young plants in the woodlice wake. (Wiki) Because of this, the woodlice will probably prefer moist and dark areas to reside in.

T EMPERATURE
Woodlice will prefer a regular environment above an extremely hot alternative because their bodies are not adapted to extremes. In their damp habitats it is probably an intermediate temperature. Also, as they are requiring water or moisture to survive, hot conditions are not favourable as water will evaporate faster. Because of this the woodlice will probably move to the room temperature areas.

1

When animals or plants are nocturnal, it means that they sleep during the day and are active during the night.

2

C OMBINING
If multiple stimuli and conditions would be combined, this would yield a more realistic testing environment. Exposing the woodlice to different temperatures while testing their preferences in moisture gives an image how they would react in a similar real-life...
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