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Interactive Labs

Ecology Lab

Lessons > The Producers > Step 2

Now you'll introduce an herbivore into the environment. In theory, an herbivore native to the ecosystem should feed primarily on the dominant species. In this system, the herbivore may consume enough of the dominant species to give the non-dominant species a chance for proliferation and survival. Click on herbivore A (the rabbit) and choose "eats plant A." Predict and record what will happen to the population numbers in the ecosystem. Then, run the simulator and record your results. Answer the following:

  1. Does adding the herbivore establish a more equal field? Is one producer still dominant over the other? Why might one producer be dominant over another?
  2. If the simulation included decomposers, how would your current results change?
  3. How do producer population numbers with the presence of an herbivore compare to the primary colonizer model?

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