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Student-centred experiments with stream invertebrates

Vaughan, Ian Phillip ORCID:, Larsen, Stefano ORCID:, Durance, Isabelle ORCID: and Ormerod, Stephen James ORCID: 2011. Student-centred experiments with stream invertebrates. Journal of Biological Education 45 (2) , pp. 106-111. 10.1080/00219266.2010.546007

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Field experiments are at the core of ecology, yet rarely find their way into education, probably due to a combination of technical challenges and risks associated with fieldwork. This may compromise student education and perception of the subject, making interesting, readily manageable experiments extremely important. We describe how the daily cycle of nocturnal mass movements by river invertebrates (‘drift’) can meet these challenges. The observation of this daily cycle, and simple manipulations using light (to test hypotheses about the triggers for drift) and fine sand (simulating degradation of stream habitats), requires minimal specialist equipment or expertise, yet affords numerous practical benefits and captures student interest through the novel fieldwork. Invertebrate drift illustrates numerous biological principles through investigations adjusted to suit different educational levels.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: freshwater, aquatic, ecology, river, invertebrates
Publisher: Taylor and Francis
ISSN: 0021-9266
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2022 09:54

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