Student Exploration: Rabbit Population by Season
Vocabulary: carrying capacity, density-dependent limiting factor, density-independent limiting factor, limiting factor, population, population density
Prior Knowledge Questions (Do these BEFORE using the Gizmo.)
Suppose you had a pet rabbit. What would the rabbit need to stay alive and healthy?
A female rabbit can give birth to over 40 baby rabbits a year. Suppose all of her offspring survived and reproduced, all of their offspring survived and reproduced, and so on. If that happened, in only eight years the mass of rabbits would exceed the mass of Earth!
So, why aren’t we overrun with rabbits? What keeps the rabbit population in check?
A population is a group of individuals of the same species that live in the same area. The size of a population is determined by many factors. In the Rabbit Population by SeasonGizmo™, you will see how different factors influence how a rabbit population grows and changes.
Select the BAR CHART tab. What is the size of the initial rabbit population?
Select the TABLE tab. Click Play (), and allow the simulation to run for one year.
In which season did the rabbit population increase the most?
In which season did the rabbit population increase the least?
Get the Gizmo ready:
Click Reset ().
Question: What determines how large a population can grow?