Working through the "Chesapeake Bay Food Web" unit, students will be able to understand that:
Food webs are all the feeding relationships in an ecosystem.
Food webs are made up of many different food chains.
Ecosystem stability is dependent on all ecosystem components including the importance of balance between primary consumers (filter feeders) and decomposers.
Excess nutrients lead to eutrophication and dead zones.
Filter feeders limit excess nutrients in estuary ecosystems
Overfishing destabilizes ocean ecosystems making them vulnerable to eutrophication.
Shifting baselines is a reason that society fails to notice the decline of many ocean ecosystems. Ecosystem decline occurs slowly over time causing us to mistakenly view severely degraded and poorly functioning ecosystems as “normal” and relatively healthy.
Graphs are important tools for comparing and seeing patterns in data.