IGN 4-4 - Blowout! A board game about plant community dynamics

Monday, August 7, 2017
C124, Oregon Convention Center
Joseph Dauer1, David A. Wedin1 and Walter H. Schacht2, (1)School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska - Lincoln, Lincoln, NE, (2)Agronomy / Horticulture, University of Nebraska - Lincoln, Lincoln, NE
In the Nebraska Sandhills, ranches and prairies co-exist. Plant communities are impacted by disturbances like fire and animal grazing that can result in severe erosion events like blowouts. Capturing these stochastic aspects of disturbance on plant communities is the purpose of a board game for large lectures where students assume plant identities and attempt to become the dominant species. Students compare plant richness, abundance and diversity indices to weigh the relative impacts of disturbance type and frequency in pre- or post-European disturbance regimes. The board game atmosphere engages students in learning of community ecology concepts in a locally relevant scenario.