An ecosystem is simply a group of plants and animals that reside in the same area and are dependent upon each other for survival. There are many different types of ecosystems in the world including deserts, forests, prairies, rivers, oceans, swamps, and marshes. All of the various ecosystems are interdependent upon each other. That means that if something affects one ecosystem negatively it will affect the other ecosystems as well. Inside an ecosystem all the plants are animals are interdependent upon each other for survival. Learning about the ecosystem can be fun and exciting. Here is a great experiment and project that will help to demonstrate what a balanced ecosystem looks like.
Make An Airtight Ecosystem Model
In order to demonstrate how all the living things within an ecosystem are dependent upon each other you will need the following materials:
- Three one-quart canning jars with lids
- Aged water to fill the jars
- Two water plants such as Elodea or Anacharis that are 4 or so inches long
- Aquarium animals, guppies or water snails
- Three aquarium thermometers
By using an airtight ecosystem, in the form of a glass canning jar, you will be able to demonstrate how plants and animals are dependent upon each other for survival.
First you will need to fill each of the three jars almost up to the top with water. Add some plants and a couple of the water animals to one airtight ecosystem container. Add only the plants to another airtight ecosystem container and only the fish to another airtight ecosystem container. Also add one aquarium thermometer to each Mason jar before closing the jar up tight. Keep all three jars in a warm and sunny location for observation. Make sure that all three jars are airtight to make the experiment a success.
What An Airtight Ecosystem Will Show
What will be discovered in doing the previous experiment and observing the three jars over the course of a week or two will be very interesting. The jar that contains the plants and the water creatures will do fine and the fish or snail will not die for lack of oxygen because the plant gives of an adequate amount of oxygen for the animals survival. Likewise the plants feed off of the waste that is supplied by the water creature. In the other two jars you will discover that the fish or water animals will not be able to survive in an airtight ecosystem without some plant to give it oxygen. The plant that is alone in an airtight ecosystem will also not thrive because it will not be getting any food in the form of wastes from the fish or water creatures.