Your project is to take what you’ve learned about the Kaibab forest ecosystem and write an accurate description of the boom and bust of this deer population, using correct ecological language. Consider as many of the aspects of these events as you can. Be sure to consider the effects on the other species in the ecosystem as well.
Refer to your on-line materials and the appropriate sections of your textbook. Your discussion should include (but not be confined to) consideration of all of the following concepts: carrying capacity, predator/prey relationships, population cycling, resource partitioning, competitive exclusion, fundamental and realized niches, food chains, food webs and trophic pyramids.
Note that the purpose of this exercise is for you to demonstrate to me that you understand these important concepts of ecology by utilizing them accurately and appropriately in the description of the disaster in the Kaibab forest. Your essay must include both clear indications that you understand the meanings of these principles and clear indication that you understand how these principles can be used to describe what happened to the ecosystem on the Kaibab plateau.
This is the biggest portion of your exam project; so be sure to do a thorough job on it.
It is a given that there is not hunting or predators there. Emphasize the following: deer EXPLODE, plants are DESTROYED, negative affect on other small ANIMALS and explain how.
(Part One additional Information)
On the north rim of the Grand Canyon, an area called the Kaibab plateau, there is a conifer forest called the Kaibab forest. The forest’s trees include pine, fir and spruce. Shrubbery includes a variety of willows, raspberries, etc. A hundred years ago, this forest was a stable ecosystem, housing, among other species, a population of about four thousand mule deer.
These deer were hunted by local Native Americans, who used them for food and other materials. They were also hunted by predators like pumas, wolves and coyotes.
In 1906, the US made this region into a National Game Preserve. With the intent of protecting the deer, hunting was forbidden. Bounties were paid for killing the pumas, wolves and other large animals that preyed on the deer. By 1925, more than 6000 predators had been killed, virtually wiping out the ecosystem’s large predators.