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Biodiversity Planning Lab ideas

Plan a lab with a valid Research Question, Independent

Variable, Dependent Variable and Control Variables that help
measure the extent of biodiversity in an ecosystem. Follow
the IB Planning lab rubric to present your design.
Your plan should include a brief background on the filed of your
investigation, a justification for the independent variable selection,
how you would go about controlling each if the variables during the
investigation. And, of course, how you would measure the
differences in the dependent variable.
Note: All planning labs should present a blank data table or data
collection mechanism that is relevant and is able to generate
sufficient data for drawing a conclusion by the investigator should
the experiment is actually carried out.
Keep in mind each of the three aspects (A1, A2 and A3) of the
planning lab criteria while presetting your report. Refer to the
Guide on ESS lab reports you received earlier.
Some ideas used in the past, but not limited to, are
presented below:
Feel free to refer to section 2.3 (measuring biotic
component of a system) and section 2.7 (measuring changes
in the system) in your IB Pearson book.
The pH level of the soil in different areas and its effect on
plant and animal life
(Collected large amounts of data about areas in a river in our
city. Variables collected included water pH, temperature, sea
grass coverage (measured by using a transect), wind, wave
height, etc. Then we used large nets to collect sea life in our
areas, and identified the species of each animal before
releasing them into the wild. After this, we measured the
biodiversity of the river, and every team was required to send
their data to a massive data pool. We calculated biodiversity
as our dependent variable, and then retroactively chose our
dependent variable)
The amount of Pollutant/Chemical X in an ecosystem, and
then measure it's affect on the biodiversity of Plant life in an
With biodiversity, the labs are always going to be quite
similar, as it's always going to affect plant and animal life,

(unless you decide to focus on the microscopic) so just try to

choose an independent variable that is able to be measured.
Abiotic factors such as soil type and soil CEC and biodiversity
Some questions to think about..
Q. How does biological diversity relate to the characteristics of
the abiotic factors of an ecosystem?
The availability of abiotic factors like light, moisture, mineral
salts, heat and carbon dioxide, more or less conditions the
biodiversity of an ecosystem. Photosynthesis depends on
water and light, and plants also need mineral salts, carbon
dioxide and adequate temperature for their cells to work. In
environments where these factors are not restrictive the
synthesis of organic material (by photosynthesis) is at a
maximum, plants and algae can reproduce easier, the
population of these beings increase, potential ecological
niches multiply and new species emerge. The large mass of
producers makes viable the appearing of a diversity of
consumers of several orders. In environments with restrictive
abiotic factors, like deserts, the producers exist in small
numbers and less diversity, a feature that thus extends to
consumers and conditions fewer ecological niches to be
Q. How does the vegetal stratification of an ecosystem
influence the biological diversity?
The vegetal stratification of an ecosystem, like the strata of
the Amazon Rainforest, creates vertical layers with peculiar
abiotic and biotic factors, dividing the ecosystem into several
different environments. Therefore in the superior layer near
the crowns of big trees the exposition to light, rain and wind is
greater but moisture is lower compared to the inferior layers.
As one goes down the strata the penetration of light
diminishes and moisture increases. Regarding the biotic
factors, communities of each stratum present differ in
composition and features, food habits, reproduction
strategies, etc. Such variations in the abiotic and biotic factors
make the selective pressure upon living beings to be also
diversified, there are more ecological niches to be explored
and more varied beings emerge during the evolutionary