Grade Level: 9-12
Introduction: Understanding and measuring biodiversity is no easy feat, especially when thousands of species are involved. Nevertheless, it is critical to have accurate measures for research and conservation. Students will consider the definitions of biodiversity and generate a method to accurately estimate the number of plant species growing epiphytically in the cloud forest canopy.
Objectives: Students will be able to 1) define biodiversity and recognize the complexities of having a single definition and 2) gain a basic understanding of biodiversity sampling and the need for replication.
National Science Standards: Science as inquiry, Populations and ecosystems
Time: 1 hour (15 mins for introduction and handout reading, 10 mins for initial biodiversity count, 5 mins for discussion, 15 mins for standardization and recount, 15 mins for closing)