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Big Idea
The elements of the Mono Lake ecosystems are interrelated.
Ecosystems are ever changing because of the interdependence of organismsof the same or different species and the nonliving elements of the environment. Organsims rely on physical factors, such light, temp, water, soil, and space for shelter and reproduction.  Within any one ecosystem, the biotic interactions between organisms further influence their growth, survival, and reproduction both individually and in terms of their populations (A Framework For K-12 Science Education LS2.A)
Essential Questions
How can the feeding relationships be described in the Mono Lake ecosystem?

Formulate questions based on observations that lead to the development of a hypothesis.
Communicate the results and conclusion of the investigation.
Explain how organisms obtain and use resources to develop and thrive in
  • niches
  • predator/prey relationships
Form a logical argument about a correlation between variables or sequence of events (e.g., construct a cause-and-effect chain that explains a sequence of events).
Compare food chains in a specified ecosystem and their corresponding food web.
Diagram a food web showing the direction of energy flow.
Content/Core Ideas
  • Mono Lake is an example of an akaline lake ecosystem.
  • The sequence of organisms that eat one another is a food chain.
  • All the feeding relationships in an ecosystem define the food web for that ecosystem.
  • The Mono Lake ecosystem is defined by the interactions among the organisms and physical factors that exist in the Mono Lake Basin.
Crosscutting Concepts
Systems and System Models
Stablity and Changes
Academic Vocabulary
  • feeding relationship
  • food chain
  • food web
  • producer
  • consumer
  • primary or first-level consumer
  • secondary or second-level consumer
  • tertiary or third-level consumer
  • fourth-level consumer
  • decomposer
Thinking About Mono Lake
Mono Lake Food Web response sheet
Mid-summative 3-4