Everglades Capstone Project By LadyofHats (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AFood_web_diagram.svg
Consider the two example food webs above depicting a terrestrial food web and a marine food web. Notice how interwoven these examples are and direction of the energy flow (from eaten to eater). In the Everglades, a freshwater marsh, terrestrial and freshwater aquatic environments are interconnected. The complexity of this unique ecosystem can be analyzed by constructing a food web to trace the flow of energy between and among organisms.
Part 1: Your task for this project is to construct an illustrated (with images) food web to diagram trophic interactions in the Everglades ecosystem. The food web must be an original creation, you cannot submit a food web or information that you find online, either wholly or in part! Each image must be of the actual species and identify it (common name is preferred) and show the URL address of each image in your Part 1 submittal. Hand drawn, clip art, or “cartoon” images are not allowed; original artwork may be submitted only with my prior approval. It must be on one page (multiple pages can’t show your intent) and please use a plain background in any color that is not light blue (so you can see my comments).
You must use a minimum of 8 species that are found in the Everglades and identify each species (“frog” is not specific enough). Include one invasive species and one threatened or endangered species in your web. You must indicate, using arrows in the correct direction, the flow of energy between and among the species in your diagram. Turnitin requires a minimum of 20 words in Part 1 so I can make comments directly on your food web.
Upload your food web as an attachment in the assignment dropbox. Your constructed food web is worth 60 points. It must be correct, original, accurate, and well thought-out for maximum points.
Click here for a resource that will allow you to identify plants and animals that are found in the Everglades.
Part 2: Answer the following questions about the food web you constructed. Answers should be provided on a separate attachment in the assignment dropbox. You must provide citations/URL addresses for each source within each response. For example, if you are describing the diet/habitat of Omnivore Species X in Question 3, you must provide the source(s) in Question 3, not at the end of your submittal. Answers to the 10 questions using correct spelling and grammar are worth a total of 40 points. I will be looking for detail and critical thinking in your answers, not just a few words, to demonstrate your understanding of each topic.
1) List and discuss the producer(s) in your food web.
2) List and discuss the herbivores in your food web.
3) Are there any organisms in your food web that are omnivores? On which trophic levels are they feeding?
4) List and discuss the carnivores in your food web.
5) Identify and list a food chain within your food web that depicts at least three trophic levels. What organism in your selected food chain is a secondary consumer?
6) Identify the non-native/invasive species in your food web. Describe how they are altering this food web in the Everglades ecosystem.
7) Choose a primary consumer in your food web. If its population suddenly started to decline, what density-dependent (biotic) factors could be causing it and what would be the effect?
8) Choose a secondary consumer in your food web. If its population suddenly started to increase, what density-dependent (biotic) factors could be causing it and what would be the effect?
9) Are there any keystone species in your food web? If a keystone species were removed from your food web, how would its loss impact the other organisms? If there are no keystone species in your food web, describe what this type of species is and give an example. Explain how it affects an ecosystem.
10) What are the endangered or threatened species in your food web? If the species goes extinct, how would its loss impact the other organisms?
The only file types allowed are Word, Powerpoint, and PDF. Any other file type cannot be opened in D2L. JPEGs allowed only with prior approval. Your capstone project is worth a total of 100 points.