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August 22, 2019

Describe where this type of ecosystem might be located. Name 1 specific example.

ln this assignment, you will investigate the biotic and abiotic structure and function of an ecosystem. You will also investigate how ecosystems recover from disturbance naturally and through human restoration.

Choose 1 of the following ecosystems:

  • Tropical rainforest
  • Grassland
  • Coral reef
  • Estuary
  • Desert

You will write an APA-style research paper about your choice of ecosystem, including the following elements:

  • Describe where this type of ecosystem might be located. Name 1 specific example.
  • Describe the structure of the ecosystem.
    • List at least 3 specific examples of both abiotic components and biotic components for the ecosystem type selected.
  • Describe the function of the ecosystem
    • In your own words, explain or define biogeochemical cycle.
    • Describe the steps in the carbon cycle as an example of one biogeochemical cycle.
  • Describe disturbance and recovery
    • Describe 1 natural and 1 human-caused disturbance to the ecosystem that you have chosen.
    • Describe the damage to the ecosystem for each example, including how the abiotic and biotic characteristics of the ecosystem changed.
  • Provide 2 examples of natural resources provided by the ecosystem that you have selected.
    • How can these be sustained into the future?
    • How can humans act as good stewards to assist ecosystem recovery? Provide 1 example specific to the ecosystem that you have chosen.

Provide references in APA format. This includes a reference list and in-text citations for references used throughout the assignment.

Instructions:

 

 

Instructor’s Comments:

For the Unit 1 Individual Project, please be sure you answer all of the questions about the ecosystem you have chosen, include the abiotic and biotic factors and the carbon and nitrogen cycles.

You are welcome to divide your report by question if that helps you stay organized. Use the grading rubric (om the assignment page) as an outline to be sure you cover all parts.

Sometimes it is fun to use games to learn.

Here is a website designed for kids where you are asked to identify all of the abiotic and biotic components of an ecosystem. I hope you will try it out as it can help you recognize the different factors in an ecosystem:

Kroening, H. (2001). Analyzing an Ecosystem

http://www.biology.ualberta.ca/facilities/multimedia/uploads/alberta/Ecosystem.swf

Like many of you, I am a visual learner. I enjoy animations very much. Here is a good one of the carbon cycle:

Cain, M.L., Damman, H., Lue, R. A. (2006). Discover Biology: The Carbon Cycle. Retrieved from:

http://nortonbooks.com/college/biology/animations/ch38a03.htm

Our eBook discusses disturbances in a number of different biomes, so start there for the question on disturbances to an ecosystem. It also covers human input in recovery an ecosystem. Ecosystems are resilient and if left alone will recover on their own. This is a long, slow process called secondary succession. For a review or succession visit this site:

Molles, M.C. and Cahill, J.F. ( 2008.) Ecology: Concepts and Applications. Retrieved from: http://highered.mcgraw-hill.com/sites/007096341x/student_view0/chapter18/

The final question asks you to consider sustainability of ecosystems.

Sustainability is the ability of a system or process to continue running without depleting the resources or materials it needs. The key words here are “without depleting.” A process may use resources, but these are replaced or replenished.

 

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