Why is it useful to compare rainforests and reefs?

Brylske at aol.com Brylske at aol.com
Sat May 27 10:30:23 EDT 2000

In a message dated 5/27/00 5:41:16 AM, gregorh at pacific.net.hk writes:

<< o add to Bob's ecological comments, I would also note that a major 
between the two ecosystems is that many rainforest organisms such as insects,
birds, and mammals are herbivores and EAT the major structural component of a
rainforest --- trees (leaves, flowers, fruit etc), whereas, there are few 
reef organisms which directly consume corals. Fish are not insects and corals
are not trees. >>

This is a very important issue. When not used appropriately, analogies are 
prone to cause misconceptions among learners. Those who have studied the 
phenomenon--and developed prescriptive procedures for analogy-based 
instruction--all emphasize that, as part of the strategy, the learner must be 
told where the analogy BREAKS DOWN as well as where it applies. My 
definition, an analogy is something similar, not exactly the same as 
something else.

Alex Brylske

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