Field Investigations: Bug Biodiversity and Ecosystem Benefits

Elementary Middle School High School Undergraduate Nonformal

In these field investigations, students explore the effects of biofuel crop production on invertebrate diversity and the effects those organisms have on pollination rates and weed seed predation. Teachers can choose from a suite of six field-sampling methods for investigations of school-yard biofuel plots, agricultural fields or existing natural communities. To help students see connection to real-world problems and research questions, combine field investigations with the Entomology Detectives research story and the Farming for Beetles Bees and Biomass data analysis activities.

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Environmental Science

Biodiversity & Evolution


Biodiversity, arthropods, ecosystem services, population and community ecology, data analysis, scientific argumentation, sustainability

Basic understanding of meanings and importance of biodiversity, the roles of invertebrates (insects) in ecosystems, plant-insect interactions (i.e. pollination, predation) and some experience conducting scientific investigations helpful

Three to five 50-minute class periods.

Varies depending upon activity. Some investigations require no special materials.