Ecosystems throughout our world have a unique food chain that is essential for life. But how can living and nonliving factors have an effect on these food chains? Do food chains adapt and change to accommodate the needs of animals in a particular ecosystem? Students will focus on a kelp forest ecosystem and investigate the relationship between sharks, sea urchins, sea otters and kelp. While hypothesizing how the kelp forest ecosystem could be impacted if any of these elements become more prominent or absent.
Georgia Standards of Excellence
- S4L1. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about the roles of organisms and the flow of energy within an ecosystem.
- b. Develop simple models to illustrate the flow of energy through a food web/food chain beginning with sunlight and including producers, consumers, and decomposers.
- c. Design a scenario to demonstrate the effect of a change on an ecosystem. (Clarification statement: Include living and nonliving factors in the scenario.)
Next Generation Science Standards
- 5-LS2-1 Develop a model to describe the movement of matter among plants, animals, decomposers, and the environment.
- MS-LS2-1. Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem.