Ecosystems throughout the world have unique food chains that are essential for life. But how can living and nonliving factors affect these food chains? Do food chains adapt 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. Moreover, hypothesize how an ecosystem could be impacted if one of these elements becomes 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.