Internet Hunts
Puzzles & Projects
Fields & Meadows Study Unit
Plants & People
Problem/Project Based Learning
Water & Watershed Study Unit
Bluebirds Project

Ecology Community Status in your State's Ecosystem

"Organisms respond to changes and vagaries in the environment. Organisms, unlike non-living objects, survive because of the ability to respond. Responses take many forms, which we can categorize as morphological, physiological, or behavioral." Basic Ecology - A Guide to the study of ecosystems Wikibooks | General Ecology website

1. Read - Threatened, Endangered, & Extinct - by Sanford S. Smith

Watch "Endangered Means There Is Still Time" online slide show

2. Evaluate the biodiversity of your state by assessing the population status of several organisms.

blue arrow Make a Semantic Feature Analysis Chart (a.k.a. - Table or Matrix)

Across the first row of the columns (skip the first column)

Enter titles: Common, Threatened, Endangered, Extinct, I've seen it

Down the rows (beginning with the second row) - (in the first column, skip the first row)

Enter at least one species of: plants, trees, mammals, insects, amphibians, birds, covered in this wetlands ecostudy unit. Add a species that is found in your community's wetlands, which is not mentioned in this unit.

Place a + (plus) or - (minus) in the columns for each species in your table

Each state has a wildlife agency. They usually provide information on threatened and endangered species. Look for their web site or perhaps they have published a book or pamphlet about local species. Wildlife in Pennsylvania

blue arrow Examine the chart - What have you found?

How many of the species are common?

What percentage of the species are threatened?

What is the ratio of common species to endangered species?


blue arrow Identify one wetland species that is considered endangered in your state.

How are people's actions impacting this species?

Predict the long term outlook for this organism.

What, if anything, should be done to help it survive?


blue arrow Identify one invasive aquatic species (AIS) that is impacting wetlands in your state.

How are people's actions contributing to the problem?

Predict the long term outlook for an ecosystem impacted by this organism.

What, if anything, should be done?


Explore more:

Basic Ecology A Free Online Textbook | Keystone Species versus Indicator Species video at Biology Mahalo

Stream Biology and Ecology | Eagles' status in your state - a problem based leaning activity |

Wetlands - Dragonfly TV | Bluebirds Project | Stream Assessment form

Map and Inventory Wetlands in your community | Milkweed and Monarch Butterfly Mania

PA HS Envirothon | Environmental Inquiry | Wetland Ecology Dilemmas

Internet Hunts / Puzzles and Projects / Problem based Learning / Civics & History / Habitat Garden / Nature / Home

Posted 1/2009 by Cindy O'Hora updated 11/2013

Pennsylvania Science Anchors
S.A.2. Processes, Procedures, and Tools of Scientific Investigations.
S.A.3. Systems, Models, and Patterns

Science NetLinks Benchmark 5 - The Living Environment
How living things function and interact. A. Diversity of Life. D. Interdependence of Life - "In all environments freshwater, marine, forest, desert, grassland, mountain, and others organisms with similar needs may compete with one another for resources, including food, space, water, air, and shelter."

tree icon Save a tree - How to make a Digital Answer Sheet: Highlight the text of the questions on this web page, copy them - Edit .. Copy. Open a text document or word processing document. Paste the questions into the blank document. Answer the questions in the word processing document in a contrasting color (NOT YELLOW) or font (avoid fancy fonts like: black, Symbol, dearform fomnt or broad). Save frequently as you work. I do not like losing my work. You will not like it either. Submit your assignment via an electronic class dropbox or email attachment. Save a copy of your work on your computer.

Proof your responses. It is funny how speling errors and typeos sneak in to the bets work. smiling icon Make Your Own Printed answer sheet.

The goal of this web project is to inform people through research while employing higher order thinking skills. This study unit encourages the use of free Internet information resources. Activities develop writing, information literacy, technology and mathematics skills.