Ecosystem Dynamics: Assess the effect of fertilizers on the phosphorus cycle

Ecosystem Dynamics
Time to complete course: 30 min.

About the Ecosystem Dynamics Virtual Lab Simulation

How dynamic can an ecosystem be? Let’s find out!
In this simulation you will learn how fertilizers can modify the phosphorus cycle in the ecosystems. Your task is to find a way to increase the yield of crops, without impacting the phosphorus cycle and the environment in general.

Sustainably increase the yield of crops

Learn how fertilizers can be used to increase the yield of crops. The secret is in figuring out what the right amount of fertilizer is. Too little fertilizer will have a small effect on the yield of crops, and too much will have a negative impact on the environment. In this simulation you will learn how to make this decision.

Analyze the phosphorus cycle and measure dissolved phosphorus

You will collect samples of soil to determine the status of the fields and analyze the entire phosphorus cycle. Additionally, you will learn how to measure soluble phosphorus all by yourself, determine how important the different phosphorus fractions are by the means of your measurements.

Pick the right model!

Throughout the simulation, you will be able to choose between different amounts of fertilizer and find out what their impact is on the phosphorus cycle. This will allow you to choose the right amount of fertilizer to maximize the crops without compromising the environment!

Get Started Now

Analyze the effects of fertilizers on the phosphorus cycle and help the residents in Astakos IV to increase their crop yield without compromising the environment.

Techniques In Lab

  • Soluble phosphorus analysis
  • Estimation of phosphorus cycle processes through the analysis of the phosphorus pools

Learning Objectives

At the end of this simulation, you will be able to…

  • Understand the importance of phosphorus in the natural processes.
  • Assess the impact of fertilization on the phosphorus cycle in a system
  • Assess the importance of the different phosphorus fractions on a system

Screenshots of Ecosystem Dynamics Virtual Lab Simulation


Dr. Michael Angilletta

School of Life Sciences
Arizona State University

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