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I was sitting in class one day when my teacher told us we were going to be learning about biodiversity in the different biomes of the world and the creatures and plant life that inhabit them. The only thing is she put a twist on learning the unit. She said instead of her giving us a big lecture on the different biomes and the fauna and flora that inhabit them she told our class of about twenty to choose a biome and make a brochure on that biome.I ended up choosing a deciduous forest and I found it interesting that many of the biomes are classified by how many seasons they have. For example my biome had four seasons Summer,Winter,Fall, and Spring whereas other biomes such as the Tundra only have two seasons Summer and Winter. I also found out from my class mates presenting their own brochures that a rain forest has very poor soil but a deciduous forest has very rich soil I found that very perculiar because one would think that an area with so much life would have very good soil but because of all the rain the nutrients are washed away but in the deciduous forest the ground keeps most of its fertility. A couple other determining factors on the biomes are the temperature the climate and the elevation. I thought the way we learned this unit was very interesting and it probed our thinking and creative abilitys and introduced us to a new way of learning. So instead of learning about envirments that are long gone we could learn about enviornments that interest us.

Jeff H.

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Into the Ecosystem

Over the weekend, while walking in the area around my house, I was able to observe different forms of life.  Each organism interacts with one another in a complex web of give and take.  Some organisms eat others to survive, such as the birds.  The birds that have become increasingly common as the weather gets nicer eat insects as their form of getting energy anf nutrients.  Some birds, like the blue jay, eat other birds’ eggs.  I see occasionally blue jays that appear to be slightly overweight, and I can oly guess that they might have just found a bird’s nest and feasted. 

Image of a blue jay

Other organisms do not depend on other creatures for their food.  Plants are photosynthesizer, and thus do not need to eat other insects or animals to survive.  Down the street from my house, there is a group of birch trees.  These trees stay alive by using the sunlight that was shining brightly that day.  I knew from before that the white bark on the birch trees acts as a sunblock for the delicate wood underneath.  Because of this, it is harmful to the tree to remove the bark.  They also have specific growing needs.  Underneath the birch tree were many different kinds of insects.  If that birch tree group was to disappear, I couldn’t imagine the effect it would have on the insects, or even the birds that roost in their branches.  It would be hard to tell exactly how far the damage goes, because it would create a domino effect on the tiny ecosystem that is the wooded area around my house.

Nicole B.

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