This WebQuest was created to teach students about the importance of keystone species and so that students would practice creating and recognizing food webs. The standards covered are:
LS2.C: Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning, and Resilience
- A complex set of interactions within an ecosystem can keep its numbers and types of organisms relatively constant over long periods of time under stable conditions. If a modest biological or physical disturbance to an ecosystem occurs, it may return to its more or less original status (i.e., the ecosystem is resilient), as opposed to becoming a very different ecosystem. Extreme fluctuations in conditions or the size of any population, however, can challenge the functioning of ecosystems in terms of resources and habitat availability. (HS-LS2-2), (HS-LS2-6)
- Moreover, anthropogenic changes (induced by human activity) in the environment—including habitat destruction, pollution, introduction of invasive species, overexploitation, and climate change—can disrupt an ecosystem and threaten the survival of some species. (HS-LS2-7)
Students are to complete this WebQuest at home and come to class the next day prepared to share their thoughts and results.