Lesson plan

Temperate rainforest ecosystem and the nitrogen cycle

Map a forest food web of living things, then follow nitrogen from the body of a salmon into forest trees, using molecule models.
Science content
Biology: Food Webs, Ecosystems, Biomes (3, 4)
Chemistry: Atoms, Molecules (3-7)

Materials in the activities


Look at map of regions of the world (called Biomes).
Try https://askabiologist.asu.edu/sites/default/files/resources/articles/bi… (from this article - https://askabiologist.asu.edu/explore/biomes) then https://cdn.britannica.com/38/102938-050-6B5388D9/distribution-biomes.j… for terrestrial (Earth, not water) biomes.
Our planet has distinct regions with their own climate - temperature, rainfall, amount of sunlight.
"Climate is what you expect Weather is what you get"
Temperate forest biome includes us. We are rainforest as our rainfall is higher than 1.5m/year.

Sun's angle on Earth activity shows how the sun is a major influence on the temperatures and weather in each of the Biomes
Because the regions have different climates, the living things that can survive there are different.

Sitting in a circle, do the Food web model activity.

Salmon is a keystone species, important for the entire food web of the forest.
Do the activity to show molecule models to show nitrogen moving through the food web.

Additional info
Temperate rainforest soil is rich compared to tropical rain forest soil (salmon nitrogen, also colder and more acidity from coniferous needles, so decomposition is much slower, and more of the nutrients are found in the soil). Tropical growth so fast that every scrap of nutrient is used.

Saharan sand brings phosphorus to the tropical rainforest of South America! It is carried on winds high in the atmosphere across the Atlantic Ocean.

Grades taught
Gr 2
Gr 3