Cycles of Elements and Nutrients in Ecosystems
Earth is basically a "closed system". All of the atoms, elements, and molecules remain here on the earth with very minor exceptions. So, in order for organisms to grow, all of those elements need to be recycled.

Due 10/5/10 - Introduction: Read the paperback text pp. 66-69. Name all the places on earth where you might find carbon. Name all the places on earth where you might find nitrogen.
This double-list is worth 5 points.

Biogeochemical Cycles

Cycle Terms -

Flux - a process that moves the element/compound from one location to another

Reservoir - location for short-term storage (closet)

Sink - location for long-term storage (attic)

A - Water Cycle - all activities are due on Monday, 10/11!!

The easiest or best-known, so we'll start here!
Water Cycle from the USGS website (this is the one from Science 8)
Activity - Handout - Study the image from the website above and be able to label the water cycle on the handout. In addition, color-code the fluxes blue, the sinks green, and the reservoirs red by drawing a line through each term. 5 points
Water Cycle from NOAA
Activity - Discussion- There is a lot of information and many graphics on this site! You should watch the movie on the "Global Impact" and explore at least 2 of the Activities on the Right. Write a discussion post with at least 6 facts about what you learned. (10 points) then go back and add to/comment on the posts of your classmates (the other 10 points) 20 points total.
Water Gizmo from Explore Learning (there is a 5-minute limit on this! That just means you have to read ahead and share
Packet distributed in class on Wednesday.20 points CLASS CODE PZYFGFQLRY
Transpiration Lab - Monday-Friday 10/11 - 15 Handout in class on Monday 10/11 and set-up complete. 20 points

This two are for your own review purposes:
Hippocampus summary animation
Quizlet review

B - Carbon Cycle - Notes on Monday 10/11, Activities due on Friday, 10/15

Monday, 10/11/10

Detailed Notes on the Carbon Cycle -
Notes form

Animation of long and short carbon cycles, click here to run this Flash animation

Thursday, 10/14/10

Click here for the simulation Element on the Move - Worksheet here

Important note!!! This web-app didn't fully open in my version of Firefox at school yesterday. The animation ran, but not the menus on the left. They ran in Explorer! So, you could have both browsers running, you could simply work on trial and error...


When you are finished with the activity above - explore some of the links below. They are all very different and will help better understand the carbon cycle.

C - Nitrogen Cycle - Activities begun on Friday 10/15 - Update 10/27 - they are all due NOW! accepted up until Friday 10/29.

On Friday, do the notes for the nitrogen cycle. You could also start the article on Dead Waters.

Use this notes format and the powerpoint on Nutrient Cycles (above) to take notes on the Nitrogen Cycle. Where the notes have blanks for Start -- Finish -- that is where you put the chemical formulae for the nitrogen.

Nitrogen Cycle disruption - Article: Dead Waters. Read the uploaded article and answer the questions on this handout. 15 points. This is due on Monday, 10/18/10

Nitrogen Cycle disruption - Hypoxia Video - in class 10/18/10. Answer the following questions as you are watching the movie. We'll go over the correct answers afterward. 10 points.

Test on Wednesday November 3, 2010!

Remember that there is no school on Tuesday, election day.

Review activity from the paperback text

Be sure to study the diagrams in the documents above. Part of the test will be to label them. You will get handouts in class on Friday (or they will be downloadable here)

PA Standard 4.6 Ecosystems and their Interactions

A. Analyze the interdependence of an ecosystem.

  • Analyze the relationships among components of an ecosystem.
  • Evaluate the efficiency of energy flow within an ecosystem.
  • Explain limiting factors and their impact on carrying capacity.
  • Understand how biological diversity impacts the stability of an ecosystem.
  • Analyze the positive or negative impacts of outside influences on an ecosystem.
  • Analyze how different land use practices can affect the quality of soils.
B. Analyze the impact of cycles on the ecosystem.
  • Evaluate the materials necessary for natural cycles.
  • Explain the processes involved in the natural cycles.
C. Analyze how human action and natural changes affect the balance within an ecosystem.
  • Analyze the effects of substances that move through natural cycles.
  • Analyze the effects of natural occurrences and their effects on ecosystems.
  • Analyze effects of human action on an ecosystem.
  • Compare the stages of succession and how they influence the cycles existing in an ecosystem.