: Forest Ecology :
Students explore the Glen Helen Forest, and learn about the interrelationships that make it a functioning ecosystem. Students use a dichotomous key to identify trees, and learn how trees make their own food. A special part of this hike is a trip to the Glen Helen Pine Forest.
Objectives for the Forest Ecology Lesson
- Observe and differentiate forest communities of the Eastern Deciduous Forest using a dichotomous key for tree species identification.
- Explain that living organisms in a community are interconnected and interact with one another in various ways.
- Differentiate between producers, consumers, and decomposers.
- Build an energy pyramid.
- Explain the process of photosynthesis, and the functions of various tree parts.
Science Standards Covered by the Forest Ecology Lesson
A.5 Describe how organisms interact with one another in various ways.
B.2 Relate plant structures to their specific functions.
B.3 Classify common plants according to their characteristics.
B.1 Describe the role of producers in the transfer of energy entering ecosystems as sunlight to chemical energy through photosynthesis.
B.2 Explain how almost all kinds of animals’ food can be traced back to plants.
B.3 Trace the organization of simple food chains and food webs.
C.4 Summarize that organisms can survive only in ecosystems in which their needs can be met. The world has different ecosystems and distinct ecosystems support the lives of different types of organisms.
C.6 Analyze how all organisms, including humans, cause changes in their ecosystems and how these changes can be beneficial, neutral or detrimental.
A.1 Explain that many of the basic functions of organisms are carried out by or within cells and are similar in all organisms.
A.2 Explain that multicellular organisms have a variety of specialized cells, tissues, organs and organ systems that perform specialized functions.
A.3 Identify how plant cells differ from animal cells.
C.8 Describe how organisms may interact with one another.
C.8 Describe how renewable and nonrenewable energy resources can be managed.