How do populations change in the Hudson River ecosystem, and how do these changes affect the larger ecological community? Using video, data, and hands-on investigations, students will explore how food webs and the abiotic resources and conditions of the ecosystem have changed in response to the zebra mussel invasion. This case study allows students to understand community level changes, which they can then apply to other systems.
Ecosystems in Action: Population & Community Dynamics
Day 1: Introduction to Zebra Mussels
Students will know what lives in the Hudson River, and will be able to create a food web drawing to represent the organisms living in the river.
Day 2: Exploring Population Change due to Zebra Mussels
Students will know how the zebra mussel invasion affected the food web of the Hudson River and be able to explain at least two connections within the food web that were affected using evidence from
Day 3: Exploring Abiotic Changes due to Zebra Mussels
Students will know how the zebra mussel has changed the Hudson River ecosystem and be able to explain how a biotic change affects the abiotic conditions in the Hudson River.
Day 4: Graphing and interpreting zebra mussel data
Students will know how the zebra mussel invasion has changed the Hudson River and be able to use graphed data to explain the history of these changes.