Environmental Studies Program


Date of this Version

Spring 5-2012


The effects of global climate change on populations may be further understood when environmental variability is included. There are strong theoretical reasons that support the idea that environmental fluctuations matter when studying ecological systems. In order to further explore this, we parameterized a model of the growth rate of Lemna minor at constant temperatures and made predictions on how L. minor would respond to fluctuating temperatures based on this model. There were four trials performed that compared the difference between growth rates at constant and fluctuating temperatures in order to test if our predictions were correct. For our results, only the high temperature treatment with sine wave fluctuations proved to match our predictions significantly, which could be due to the simplicity of our model from which we made predictions. Our results suggest that in order to fully describe how populations respond to environmental variability, we may need to find a more complex model.