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Lesson 3: Behavioral Plasticity


In the previous lessons, students learned about the importance of noise in the urban environment. In response to urban noise as well as other characteristics of urban ecosystems, organisms modify their existing behaviors to maximize their fitness and likelihood of survival. This lesson focuses on behavioral plasticity, which is the idea that organisms’ behaviors are flexible and can be modified in response to their environment. Students complete an activity in which they investigate the plasticity of their own behaviors. The class then discusses how this analogy is similar and different compared to urban species as well as how the plasticity of a species behavior impacts its likelihood of survival in an urban environment.