In this assignment, you will be creating a trophic pyramid, also known as an “ecological pyramid,” for a specific ecosystem. Your completed trophic pyramid will be used to identify the trophic levels within the food web, as well as their effects on the ecosystem. To complete this assignment go to http://lc.gcumedia.com/bio220/biome-explorer/v2.1/index.html to retrieve the trophic pyramid worksheet. When completing the worksheet follow the guidelines below:
- Select an ecosystem from an area of interest to you. When choosing an ecosystem, be specific. For help differentiating between biomes and ecosystems, review “Biomes and Ecosystems.”
- Utilize credible sources to select and research your chosen ecosystem, including the textbook and the Internet (specifically, you may find the World Biomes page located at http://www.blueplanetbiomes.org/world_biomes.htm helpful).
- When researching your selected ecosystem, give special attention to the plant and animals species that inhabit that ecosystem. This information will be used to design the ecological pyramid.
- Refer to the “Trophic Pyramid.” You will complete this template by entering the names of the species that belong to the various trophic levels (Apex predator, tertiary consumers, secondary consumers, primary consumers, and primary producers).
- Refer to the text for further information and an explanation of trophic levels.
Using your completed trophic pyramid, answer the following questions in a separate Word document of at least 250-500 words:
- Of the primary producers you selected, which one do you think has the biggest impact on the ecosystem you researched? Explain.
- What species did you select for the apex predator? Explain the importance the apex predator’s impact on the other species in your tropic pyramid.
- How did the amount of energy gained compare to the amount of energy lost as heat at the 2nd–4th trophic levels?
- Referring to your completed trophic pyramid template, select one species. If this species was removed from your trophic pyramid, what would be the impact on the other species of the ecosystem?
- Can efforts to save a species from extinction be successful if the focus of preservation is only on that species? Explain your answer
- Considering the amount of energy required in producing animal-based foods and goods, should humans change their habits so they consume products closer to the bottom of the trophic pyramid? Provide rationale for your response.