The Ecology of Opuntia Fragilis (Nuttall) Haworth
Department of Biological Sciences
Western Illinois University
This interrupted case is based on the author's own personal research on the fragile prickly pear cactus in Stearns County, Minnesota. The data described is a product of the work of several undergraduate students at St. Johns University, which partially funded this research. By simulating the process of doing science through its progressive disclosure format, the case encourages students to think about plant population ecology from an actual research perspective. The case can be used in an introductory biology or botany course, and with slight modifications in an upper-level plant ecology course.
- To explore aspects of basic plant population ecology.
- To think about research design.
- To simulate the process of doing science.
KeywordsPrickly pear cactus; Opuntia fragilis; plant populations; threatened plant species; endangered species; experimental design; Thomas Nuttall; Minnesota
Topical AreasScientific method
Educational LevelUndergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division
Type / MethodsInterrupted
Subject HeadingsBotany / Plant Science | Ecology |
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