Niche Partitioning Activity
In this activity, students make claims about different niche partitioning mechanisms based on scientific data.
The activity begins with students interpreting a graph about dietary niche partitioning by grazers on the African savanna. Students then watch two short videos, one on niche partitioning and the other on DNA metabarcoding, and answer questions to apply what they have learned.
Student Learning Targets
- Analyze graphs and explain trends in the data.
- Explain how behavior that benefits populations involves timing and coordination of activity.
- Describe different mechanisms of niche partitioning.
- Evaluate a classical understanding of niche partitioning in light of new data.
fundamental niche, herbivore, realized niche
Du Toit, Johan T., and Han Olff. “Generalities in grazing and browsing ecology: using across-guild comparisons to control contingencies.” Oecologia 174, 4 (2014): 1075–1083. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00442-013-2864-8.
Kartzinel, Tyler R., Patricia A. Chen, Tyler C. Coverdale, David L. Erickson, W. John Kress, Maria L. Kuzmina, Daniel I. Rubenstein, et al. “DNA metabarcoding illuminates dietary niche partitioning by African large herbivores.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 112, 26 (2015): 8019–8024. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1503283112.
HS-LS2-1, HS-LS2-2; SEP4
IST-1.P, IST-5.A, ENE-4.B; SP2, SP4, SP6