There are four theoretical outcomes from a situation in which two species compete; your mission is to determine the nature and parameters in the simulation that will produce these four possible outcomes.
You are in complete control. You can vary any of the growth parameters any way you want, then click the Go button and see what happens. However, to save time, you may want to take into account some well tried scientific approaches as you design and carry out your own experiments
- Set standard starting conditions for each population that are reasonable. Don't use very large numbers (unless you are investigating extremes). A suggested starting sample could be:
- Size 2 (starting population)
- Growth 0.5 (growth rate)
- Capacity 100 (carrying capacity)
- Overlap 0.1 (the amount of competition)
- Vary one parameter at a time. Perform a series of experiments in which you change one value (e.g. growth rate) for one population in reasonable steps, while keeping everything else constant.
- Once you have seen an effect. Note this effect, qualitatively and quantitatively record what happened to the two growth curves, plot graphs, come to conclusions, make deductions and plan.
- Based on your first observations and conclusions, ask yourself questions (for example; "what is the effect of growth rate on how fast each population reaches its natural carrying capacity?"). Then design a new experiment to find the answer.
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