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Activity 09: Outfall from species

Dysfunctions in an ecosystem

Objective: Recognizing and describing the mutual dependence of producers, consumers and destruents. Gathering ideas of how to prevent dysfunctions in the ecosystem „forest“.
Learning outcomes: Learners are able to reproduce the mutual dependence of producers, consumers and destruents, describe dysfunctions in an ecosystem, name differences in the dysfunction between adding or removing species from the ecosystem and come up with measures to prevent dysfunctions.
Previous knowledge: Structure of an ecosystem, food webs
Duration: 60 min.
Materials / Conditions: cf. Resources section
Methods / Techniques: Group work: learning through teaching, cooperative learning; explorative learning
Learning subject: Biodiversity / Module I: Introduction to biodiversity / Level: advanced learning

Within an ecosystem, there are three different groups of organisms: producers, consumers and destruents.
Producers are plants and form the basis. They provide nutrition and therefore energy for primary consumers that feed on plants. Secondary consumers are carnivores that feed on primary consumers etc. Destruents are organisms and micro-organisms that change over dead organic material, i.e. plant and animal remainders and excrement into nutrients which are transferred back into the circuit in being taken up by growing plants.

1. Copy the picture (cf. Resources) and highlight producers in green, consumers in red and destruents in blue.

2. Now create group tables:
- Two tables dealing with effects of adding individual species to an ecosystem - Two tables dealing with effects of removing individual species to an ecosystem In your groups, exchange on the effects of adding/removing species; are there any advantages/disadvantages?

3. Come up with measures that could prevent a dysfunction.

4. Compare your results with the other groups.


Possible results / Results:
1. Producer=plants; consumer=rabbit etc.; Destruents=worms etc.
Advantage: Strengthening the circuit → more nutrition
Disadvantage: disturbs the food web

Advantage: /
Disadvanatage: Out of balance, not enough nutrition, food chain is interrupted
5. prevent extinction of species; do not introduce exotic species; environmental awareness; keep the ecosystem balanced

Related activities:

Author: Merve Gürbüz and Gamze Ensaroglu
Aus dem Deutschen übersetzt von Jana Prokaka

en/learning/courses/subjects/s01/m01/advanced-learning/a09.txt · Last modified: 2015/09/15 09:15 by sschoeffer