Injury and regeneration are fascinating topics that students are eager to learn more about. This allure makes injury a great hook to introduce students to a broader set of biological and ecological concepts. We focus on marine infauna, such as polychaetes, because they are important “ecosystem engineers” that often lose tissue to predators or other disturbances. For example, they influence sediment chemistry, nutrient cycling, and microbial communities as they burrow, feed, defecate, and irrigate their tubes. Evidence suggests that injured infauna are less active while they regenerate and these reductions can have individual, habitat, and community consequences.
Concept maps are a useful educational tool to examine the costs and benefits of injury and regeneration, particularly linking the impacts from individuals and ecosystems. Such maps effectively show these linkages and encourage exploration of the processes that control and connect the immediate effects of injury on individual infauna with larger scale habitat and ecosystem changes. Our goal is to expand on the resources that are currently available to middle, high school, and post secondary educators using the COSEE-OS Concept Linked Integrated Media Builder (CLIMB) to create an interactive concept map of how injury affects marine benthic invertebrates, communities, and ecosystems.
Here we present our initial concept map of how infaunal injury affects marine benthic ecosystems with examples of multimedia content, introduce the COSEE-OS concept mapping tool, suggest inquiry based activities for the classroom, and invite our colleagues to begin building their own concept maps of the integrative biology of injury and regeneration.
Presented by: Beth R. Campbell, Sara M. Lindsay, and Annette V. deCharon
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2010 Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Meeting, Seattle, WA