Lab: Predator-Prey Density: Pitcher Plant

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Lab: Predator-Prey Density: Pitcher Plant

Purpose: Determine effect of prey density on capture rate in Pitcher Plants.
Materials Provided:
    2 Potted Pitcher Plants
    2 clear cover domes
    wingless fruit flies
    Student directions and data sheet
Grade Level: 4-5 elementary, middle school, high school, undergraduate.

Pitcher Plants seem to just sit about and end up catching food by waiting. Hummm? Is there more? Each trap has specialized regions that play a distinct and different role in the luring, capturing and digestion of their "meals."

In this inquiry investigation, students investigate the how crowding of prey affects the capture of prey. Students make observations, collect and graphically analyze data, make inferences, and draw conclusions. They end with a good understanding of pitcher plant prey capture in greater detail than simplying reading about it.

This series of carnivorous plant lab investigations is based on scientific inquiry standards of the National Science Education Standards, and are consistent with State Learning Objectives. Students have the opportunity to think and act like scientists during these investigations. Written and classroom tested by Michael Szesze, Awarding Winning Science Teacher.

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