Energy Flow in Ecosystems

Emerging biochemists more fully understand the flow of energy in ecosystems as they explore the laws of thermodynamics and relate them to energy transfer in food chains. They also investigate heat loss from the human body and how it affects body physiology, before calculating energy loss within various levels of a food web and the effects on the general environment.    

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Instructional Ideas

  • Have high schoolers research the difference between the use of energy in an organism during periods of extreme heat vs. periods of extreme cold
  • Divide the class into pairs to create a poster depicting predicted energy changes as a result of global warming, and then discuss their findings with the class
Classroom Considerations

  • Assist class members with web research if needed, especially English learners or those with special needs
  • The third installment in a 9-part series
Pros

  • Content connect to additonal lessons and concepts in the biology or earth science curriculm
  • Demonstrates how small changes in the environment can result in large changes, both positively and negatively
Cons

  • Document permissions do not allow for printing