Learning Exercise

PARASITISM

We will study the interspecific relationship of parasitism

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This online programme serves to simulate some interspecific relationships in ecosystems, such as predation, competition... see more

Exercise

PARASITISM

 

The Ecosimulator programme allows you to simulate the development of populations and some interspecific relationships in ecosystems, as well as some aspect of Natural Selection.

This time we will study the interspecific relationship of parasitism.

Open the programme or the ECOSIMULATOR website. Go to Simulate > Data Entry.

In Standard Simulations choose "Parasitism 1", or enter data by hand:

Generations (sweeps) to graph:  200

Time for the grass to grow:  1

RABBITS: Initial number=16  ; Maximum life=20  ; Points to eat=5  ; Moving distance=5  ;

INFECTED RABBITS  : Initial number=16  ; Incubation period=2  ; Probability of dying=20%  ; Probability of contagion=60%;

Speed=average

Click "Start" and observe the population development.

When the number of chosen sweeps is reached, click "Graph".

 

Infected rabbits are supposed to have a virus that they could transmit to the uninfected rabbits. You can hover over the words for further information.

 

 

QUESTIONS to choose for your teacher:

1.      Draw in your notebook the graph obtained. And write down all the events or details that you find interesting.

2.      What is the incubation period of a disease?

3.      Does the infection go away over time? Does the population die from infection?

4.      Try now with the simulation "Parasitism 2"  What is the only data that changes? What is the result in the population? Is it "in the interest" of a virus to be very deadly?

5.      Try now with the simulation "Parasitism  3" What is the only data that is different from Parasitism 2? What is the result in the population? Why is the virus still present in the population?

6.      The AIDS virus has a very long incubation period. Which of the above do you think it may resemble?

7.      The Ebola virus has a short incubation period and is very deadly. Which of the above do you think it may resemble?

8.      Write down in your notebook the concept of host, guest and infection.

9.      Modify the data based on the previous simulations and observe the results.