Science Lab

1. Open the Virtual Lab titled “Model Ecosystems”.

2. Please make sure you have read through all of the information in the “Question” and “Field Guide” areas.  

3. In this exercise, you will examine several model ecosystems and their characteristic plant and animal species.   To begin, read the information in the “Field Guide” to learn more about the organization of five selected ecosystems.  

4. If you come upon terms that are unfamiliar to you, please refer to your textbook for further explanation or search the word here:

5. You are now ready to begin the activity.   Start by selecting the ecosystem type that you would like to model from the pull down menu at the top of the screen.  

6. Click and drag the various organisms to their correct locations within the different trophic levels of the pyramid.   Once you have moved all of the organisms click the “Check” button and fix any incorrect choices if necessary.

7. List each of the organisms (by name) at each trophic level under the “Organisms Present:” area on Table 1.

8. Clicking on the “Pyramid of Numbers” will show the number of organisms at each trophic level within this type of ecosystem.   Fill in this information from the pyramid on Table I below under the “Numbers:” area.

9. Clicking on the “Pyramid of Energy” will reveal how much energy is available at each trophic level.   Fill in this information from the pyramid on Table 1 below under the “Energy:” area.

10. You must take one last step in the investigation of this ecosystem.   It is important to determine the amount of energy that is transferred from one trophic level to the next.   This is called the “Energy Conversion Efficiency” (E.C.E.), and this ratio is determined by taking the energy value from the trophic level you are calculating the E.C.E. for and dividing it by the energy value of the level below it.   Please do these calculations as directed below and...