Physical Geography and Sciences



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Laquesha Phillips, BIO 495: Special Project
Faculty Mentor: Professor Robert Warren, Biology

The research question that I studied is whether an invasive species has a negative or positive effect when it is introduced to a native species in an environment, and if this interaction has an effect on intraspecific and interspecific competition. Invasive species are non-native species that are not native to a given environment and may have a positive effect or negative effect on the ecosystem. Native species are native to an environment or habitat and thrive in that ecosystem. These species can be affected by the introduction of a new species; for example, invasive species that can produce a negative effect on the ecosystem. My project focus is important because these invasive species have the potential to destroy the ecosystem that we depend on to carry out multiple actions, such as purifying the air we breathe, cycling nutrients, and also pollinating crops that we eat. Cycling nutrients is essential because it connects the living with the living, the living with the nonliving, and the nonliving with the nonliving. This is very significant because all organisms in an ecosystem are dependent on each other and it is key for the living to survive. The techniques that I used to carry out the project were to maintain multiple plots of invasive species with invasive species, invasive species with noninvasive species, and noninvasive species with other noninvasive species. In this way, we could test the effects of noninvasive species with invasive species, noninvasive species with noninvasive species and invasive species with invasive species. My observations are that when seeds from a different country, when introduced in the same plot to another seed from a different country, for the most part do not both successfully germinate; only the seeds from a specific country flourish. Also, when seeds are placed in the same plot together, one seed typically thrives better than the other. The presentation includes my hypothesis formulated before I carried out the experiment, background information on the experiment, description of methodology, results, and my conclusions.

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Intraspecific vs. Interspecific Competition
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