Lab On Biomagnification

Topics: Food chain, Ecology, Trophic level Pages: 10 (2334 words) Published: April 25, 2014
BIOMAGNIFICATION LAB REPORT

AIM
The aim of this lab is to model bioaccumulation and biomagnification through a food chain.

MATERIALS
100 M&M’s
Paper towel to lay M&M’s on
20 small cups labelled “zooplankton”
5 medium cups labelled “minnow”
2 larger cups - one labelled “eel #1”, and another labelled “eel #2” 1 bowl labelled “osprey”

PROCEDURE
The pile of M&M’s represents the phytoplankton population in a lake. The printed “M” on the candy represents the amount of DDT (in ppm) the algae ingested from pesticide runoff from a nearby agricultural area. There are 100 M&M’s in the pile. Each circle below represents on phytoplankton. Mark the amount of toxin each phytoplankton has ingested. If there is a full “M” stamped on the candy then that phytoplankton has ingested 1 ppm of DDT, so write “1” in one of the circles below. If there is no “M” on the candy then that phytoplankton did not ingest any DDT so write a “O” in one of the circles below. If there is a partial “M” on the candy then estimate how much of the “M” there is. For example, if there is only on hump of the “M” then that would equal ½ a unit of DDT ingested by that phytoplankton so you would fill in one of the circles below with ½. Zooplankton in the lake (population size 20) each eat 5 algae. Move 5 M&M’s into each of the zooplankton cups. Record the amount of DDT each zooplankton has ingested using the instructions from step 1. Write these amounts onto the individual copepod pictures below. Minnows (population size 5) in the lake each eat 4 zooplankton, ingesting energy and the toxin that is stored in the zooplankton as well. Move the correct number of M&M’s from the zooplankton cups into the minnows cups. Record the amount of DDT ingested by each of the small fish onto the fish below using the instructions from step 1 to calculate the total amount of each fish. Two eels then come along for dinner. One eels eats 2 minnows and the other eel eats 3 minnows. Move the correct number of M&M’s from the minnow cups into the eel cups. Write the amount of DDT ingested by the each eel onto the pictures below. Use the instructions from step 1 to calculate the total amount of DDT for each. Finally, an osprey flies by and eats both eels. Move the correct number of M&M’s from the eel cups into the osprey bowl. Calculate and then write the total amount of DDT ingested by the osprey onto the picture below.

OBJECTIVES
Visualize the processes of bioaccumulation and biomagnification. Distinguish between the similar concepts of bioaccumulation and biomagnification using a mathematical model. Calculate the amount of energy gained/lost through the energy transfers of a typical food chain. Review trophic level names and energy characteristics.

BACKGROUND
DDT was the first synthesized insect pesticide that was widely used throughout the globe after the WW II. In the case of numerous African nations, this pesticide proved its soaring popularity due to its primordial ability to fend off disease-carrying mosquitoes. While it still does not change the fact that mosquitoes posed a noteworthy threat to the globe’s health, the situations regarding the contagious Malaria flu reached its peak in African nations.

Therefore, naturally, people began to use this pesticide in order to kill off all the mosquitoes within the vicinity of their respective habitats. However, chaotic consequences ensued. The organisms in the numerous African ecosystems began to assimilate toxic substances into their bodies, resulting in greater environmental harm along with enhanced pollutions. One dominant example would be birds. Most species of birds need numerous substantial provisions of calcium in order to lay healthy eggs. However, because of the growing amount of toxins, the eggs won’t hatch properly. And, even if it does, the baby birds will either live to see the next sunrise before their deaths or die immediately. This caused a sharp population decline for bird species such...
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