Posts Tagged ‘autotroph’

Ecology 101

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

herbivore by thornypup on flickr

We are about to embark on Topic 5 so that we are ready for our field trip next semester.  Here is the syllabus guide for this section: Topic 5 – syllabus guide

This useful presentation covers the first part of the syllabus, namely Topic 5.1.  Here’s another one by Mr. Hobbins that we will use. Ecology definitions  And this is a table of the main definitions. Topic 5 – Ecology definitions

The basic concepts in this first part of ecology have to do with food chains and webs, the flow of energy through ecosystems, and the recycling of nutrients.

Food chains and food webs

Thursday, February 4th, 2010
fox chasing rabbit 0121 by pixpoils on flickr

fox chasing rabbit 0121 by pixpoils on flickr

What is a food chain?  It is a representation of energy flow through an ecosystem.  All food chains begin with a green plant, that traps energy from the Sun. We’ll look at lots of examples, and get to grips with terms such as producer, consumer, carnivore, herbivore, autotroph, heterotroph. 

Food chains have limited use in looking at the big picture in an ecosystem, since there is usually more than one organism feeding on each food source.  For a more realistic view of what happens in nature we need to consider food webs.  A food web is a number of inter-connected food chains.

Check out this brainpop video.

We’ll discuss the idea of interdependence between all the organisms within a food chain, and look at how disease or a change in the environment affects things.

We need to answer this important question:  why are food chains short (only 3 or 4 organisms long)?

We’ll use explorelearning to help us with these concepts.  Log in using the details given in class, type a search for food chains.  Follow the instructions for the food chain, praire ecosystem and forest ecosystem activities.  Enjoy!

And here are a couple more sites to help reinforce these ideas.  This one is from bbc science and this one allows you to explore a number of food webs.

This booklet by Mr Boulton might be useful for review and notes.Booklet to learn about ecology