Ecosystem worksheet

  • This is a guide for your ecosystem study work. You can also find the file for download in the Materials -> Files -> Workhseets section of the twinspace, in a a variety of formats.

    You can also download it here in .odt format





    Part 1: General Description


    1.- Ecosystem type (terrestrial, aquatic, salty water, fresh water)


    2.- Position. Locate it:

    - Latitude/Longitude

    - On an local map

    - In relation to the school (distance)

    - In aerial photos


    3.- Production of a Ecosystem approximate map, showing

             - Orientation

    - Remarkable structures, both natural and artificial such as: rock formation, mountains and buildings nearby, forests or tree groups.

    - Human action: positive and negative

    - Approximate area


    4.- Take pictures of the area to study. Try to show pollution remains and state of conservation, human action…



    Part 2: Analysis of Abiotic factors


    1.- Production of a climograph of the area to study.


    2.- Data taking (atmospheric conditions):


    - Air, ground and water temperature (in case of aquatic medium)

    - Clouds: Type and cover, wind: speed and direction, environmental humidity


    3. Identification and description of the analyzed rocks. Pictures for the blog


    4.-Study of the ground:


    - Terrestrial ecosystem:

    • In situ” study of the ground and its features with magnifying glasses to identify the size of its particles (gravel, sand, clay....)

    • Afterwards, classification of the organic and inorganic components in the lab by using binocular magnifying glasses


    - Marine or lake/river ecosystem;

    • Study and description of its particles (sand, stilt).

    • Classification in the lab according to size shape and colour together with their origin (organic and inorganic)


    - Production of a granulometry of the samples in the lab



    Part 3: Study of Biotic factors


    1.- Producers


    Moss, ferns and lichens:

    • Look for them and show their position on the map, pointing out their orientation and cover. Description and afterwards classification in the lab.

    • Search for information, in the classroom, about the lichens, as a bio indicator


    Herbaceus plants:

    • Classification or description of 3 herbaceous plants, in case they've got flowers, describe them.


    Tree specimens:

    • Drawings and descriptions of 3 different tree specimens, paying attention to the size and shape of each leave, bark and also flowers and fruits (if they are present)


    Algae (in aquatic ecosystems):

    • Describe 2 of each type (green, brown or red).

    • Prepare an ecosystem profile and point out their position.

    • Take photos and samples (if possible), to later classify them in the lab

    • Produce a small algae guide


    2.- Consumers/Animals:


    - Invertebrates:

    • Look for 2 specimens in each group, take photos and videos showing their movements

    • Anatomic description of each one

    • Sort out samples (shells)




    • Identify and look for traces (using simple guides)

    • Production of info cards: Usual and scientific name, features, way of living


    **Watch out! Neither hurt the specimen nor damage its habitat.


    3.- Decomposers:


    - Fungi :

    • Samples picking up, description and photo taking.

    • Classification in the lab.

    • Search information about the role of fungi in the ecosystems and the use of fungi in the food industry, human diet...




    Part 4: Relationship and adjustment to the habitat


    - Production of trophic chains with the found living creatures and creation of a possible food web with them.


    - Find information about inter specific relationships such as mutual, symbiosis, can find in your ecosystem. Description of them.


    - Look for examples of adjustment to the habitat among the studied species, such as humidity, saltiness, wind...


    Part 5: Invasive species


    - Research about the presence of invasive species in the area, and look for information about the potential consequences of their presence together with the existence of eradication programmes


    - Try to find, at least, two examples of those species, describe them, and tell about their origin and their possible effects in the ecosystem.




    Part 6: Pollution and Changes study


    - Waste collection during visit and afterwards classification at school

    - Plastic: Pick up samples and classification in the lab. Research about the effects of the plastic in the aquatic ecosystems.

    -Picture collecting of the area in the last decades, to produce a small work about its evolution. Critical analysis and approach of the possible corrective measures