Conflicting Selection Pressures

Observe how heredity and natural selection allow a population to adapt to a changing environment.

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Explore how populations change over time in a NetLogo model of sheep and grass. Experiment with the initial number of sheep, the sheep birthrate, the amount of energy sheep gain from the grass, and the rate at which the grass re-grows. Remove sheep that have a particular trait (better teeth) from the population, then watch what happens to the sheep teeth trait in the population as a whole. Consider conflicting selection pressures to make predictions about other instances of natural selection.

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Subject
Biology

Focus Area
Modeling and Simulation

Grade Level
High School

License
CC BY 4.0

AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008)

5. The Living Environment

5B. Heredity
  • 5B/H1. By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that some new gene combinations make little difference, some can produce organisms with new and perhaps enhanced capabilities, and some can be deleterious.
5D. Interdependence of Life
  • 5D/H3. By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that human beings are part of the earth's ecosystems. Human activities can, deliberately or inadvertently, alter the equilibrium in ecosystems.
5F. Evolution of Life
  • 5F/H3*. By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that natural selection provides the following mechanism for evolution: Some variation in heritable characteristics exists within every species; some of these characteristics give individuals an advantage over others in surviving and reproducing; and the advantaged offspring, in turn, are more likely than others to survive and reproduce. As a result, the proportion of individuals that have advantageous characteristics will increase.
  • 5F/H4b. By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that heritable characteristics influence how likely an organism is to survive and reproduce.
  • 5F/H6a. By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that natural selection leads to organisms that are well-suited for survival in particular environments.
  • 5F/H6c. By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that when an environment, including other organisms that inhabit it changes, the survival value of inherited characteristics may change.

Copyright
© Copyright The Concord Consortium

Record Link
<a href="">The Concord Consortium. Conflicting Selection Pressures. Concord: The Concord Consortium, 2010, September 11.</a>

AIP
Conflicting Selection Pressures (The Concord Consortium, Concord, 2010, September 11), WWW Document, (https://concord.org/).

AJP
Conflicting Selection Pressures (The Concord Consortium, Concord, 2010, September 11), WWW Document, (https://concord.org/).

APA
Conflicting Selection Pressures. (2010, September 11). Retrieved 2017, August 20, from The Concord Consortium: https://concord.org/

Disclaimer: The Concord Consortium offers citation styles as a guide only. We cannot offer interpretations about citations as this is an automated procedure.

Requirements

This activity runs entirely in a Web browser. Preferred browsers are: Google Chrome (versions 30 and above), Safari (versions 7 and above), Firefox (version 30 and above), Internet Explorer (version 10 or higher), and Microsoft's Edge.

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Innovative Technology in Science InquiryThis resource is a part of the Concord Consortium's Innovative Technology in Science Inquiry project.

Grade Level
High School
Subject
Biology
Focus Area
Modeling and Simulation
Rating
5
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