Episode 22 – Exceptional Eco-Columns

First, you will need to download the Exceptional Eco-Columns lab manual.

A few episodes prior, we were exploring systems. An ecosystem is a type of system that houses living, or biotic, and non-living, or abiotic, things. These could include squirrels, trees, and rocks, for example. Each component of an ecosystem is important and plays a distinct role! Let’s think about this in terms of a garden. Of course, you may have plants in this garden. In the soil, there are microscopic organisms that help these plants gather nutrients! Bees and other pollinators help these plants reproduce so they are able to create fruits like apples or cucumbers. These are tasty for humans or other animals to eat! Other insects may prevent smaller aphids or gnats from consuming your plants leaves.

Without one part of this system, such as pollinators, others may not be able to function properly. The result in removing one component of an ecosystem is known as a cascade because it triggers the removal or increase in stress on other components of that system! If you considered the structure of your home, removing a wall may place more wight-bearing responsibility on other walls, which can cause your roof to fall in! This is why each component of an ecosystem is so crucial.

To observe this more closely, we will be creating ecosystems of our own! Follow along with our EYES team to build an eco-column which will allow you to see the inner workings of an ecosystem first hand.

Saskatchewan Curriculum Connections:
LT 1.2:Analyze different ways in which plants, animals, and humans interact with various natural and constructed environments to meet their basic needs.
AW 2.2: Assess the importance of air and water for the health and survival of living things, including self, and the environment.
PL 3.1: Investigate the growth and development of plants, including the conditions necessary for germination.
HC 4.1: Investigate the interdependence of plants and animals, including humans, within habitats and communities.
DL 6.4: Examine and describe structures and behaviours that help: individual living organisms survive in their environments in the short term, and species of living organisms adapt to their environments in the long term.
IE 7.2: Observe, illustrate, and analyze living organisms within local ecosystems as part of interconnected food webs, populations, and communities.