An ecosystem is an interaction between plants, animals, microorganisms, and their environment.
All things in an ecosystem, living and nonliving, work together to be one functional unit .
Where are ecosystems?
Ecosystems are everywhere!
They can be as BIG as the Savanna in Africa!
Lions, gazelles, bonsai trees, and shrubs all play a part in the savanna ecosystem.
Where are ecosystems?
Ecosystems can even be as small as a garden in your back yard!
Write down what kinds of living and nonliving things you think make up an ecosystem in a garden. Grab a pen and paper!
All living organisms in an ecosystem depend on each other for survival.
This means these organisms are interdependent.
Think of what would happen to the birds that live in the trees in your yard if all the worms in your yard disappeared?
Everything is connected in an ecosystem. To find out more Click HERE!
Each component of an ecosystem is a source of food for another.
For example- In an arctic oceanic ecosystem, seaweed depends on the sunlight so it can produce its own food. Seals depend on the seaweed for food, and orcas depend on the seals for food.
What is a healthy ecosystem?
Scientists will call a healthy ecosystem a sustainable ecosystem.
This means there is a balance between each of the components in an ecosystem.
This picture traces the balance between the living things in a woodland ecosystem.
To find out more about healthy ecosystems, click HERE!
Disruptions in Ecosystems
Disruptions in ecosystems can be disastrous .
Natural disasters like fires, tornados, and hurricanes can ruin a whole ecosystem. Think of what your family would have to do if a fire burned down your house. Plants and animals also have to find and build new homes too!
A foreign invader is a new species introduced into an ecosystem.
Foreign plants and animals can disrupt an ecosystem also.
The cane toad is a famous foreign invader of Australia.
Foreign Invaders Cont’d
If a new species is introduced into an ecosystem, they can upset the healthy balance that ecosystem once had.
What if a new species of jungle cat was introduced into the rainforest? There would be more competition for the black panther to find food. This may result in the extinction of the black panther.
Ecosystems All living and nonliving things are involved in one ecosystem or another. All organisms are responsible for their role in their ecosystem. Our ecosystem lesson will move us into our biome lesson next week!
K-7 Standard L.EC: Develop an understanding of the interdependence of the variety of populations, communities and ecosystems, including those in the Great Lakes region. Develop an understanding of different types of interdependence and that biotic (living) and abiotic (non-living) factors affect the balance of an ecosystem. Understand that all organisms cause changes, some detrimental and others beneficial, in the environment where they live.
L.EC.E.1 Interactions- Organisms interact in various ways including providing food and shelter to one another. Some interactions are helpful; others are harmful to the organism and other organisms.
"Fourth Grade Science Grade Level Content Expectations V.1.09." Michigan Department of Education, 2009. Web. 14 Mar. 2010.