A range of teacher professional learning programs will be developed to accompany the Biodiversity of the Western Volcanic Plains online outreach...
Welcome to the Grassland Food Webs learning object
Food webs consist of a number of interlinking food chains within an ecosystem. A food chain indicates ‘who eats who’ and depicts a flow of energy. All food chains begin with a producer, an organism that can make its own food e.g. a plant. Herbivores are organisms that eat plants and carnivores are organisms that eat other animals. Omnivores eat both plants and animals. Fungi are decomposers, which break down dead or decaying organisms and return nutrients to the soil.
Select either the very easy food chain or one of the food webs to investigate how selected plants and animals interact with one another in a grassland ecosystem. You should attempt each food web in order of difficulty to improve your skills. Once you have completed each of the food webs, there is an option to add an introduced predator, a feral cat, to investigate the impacts of an introduced species on this ecosystem.
- Select a food web to reveal a number of grassland organisms represented by blue tokens.
- Click on the information button within each token to investigate whether the organism is a producer, herbivore, carnivore, omnivore or decomposer.
- Move the tokens so that the producers and decomposers are at the base of the page and the herbivores, omnivores and carnivores are above these.
- Click on the information button to work out who eats who, and then connect the relevant organisms by clicking within the blue area of one token to the blue area of another. Make sure that you click on the organism being eaten first, so that the arrow indicates energy flow from prey to predator.
- If you make a mistake and wish to start again, click the Reset button.
- If you wish to check your answers, click Submit Answer. Organisms which are correctly linked will appear with a green tick.
- If one of your links is incorrect, a dotted line with a red arrowhead will appear. To delete this link, click on the red arrowhead and follow the instructions.
- If you are unsure of what to consider next, click Help.
- For each of the food web options, you may Add Feral Cat once your initial food web is correct to explore further interactions.
- Once you have successfully completed your food chain or food web, you may wish to save a screenshot.