Rocky Shore food web activity


Use the diagram and notes below as a discussion point about the transition from a 20th century to 21st century approach.

Rocky Shore food web


Viewed through a 20th century lens, the focus of this activity is on students’ knowledge of scientific vocabulary and the scientific conventions of how feeding relationships are represented in the diagrammatic form of a food web.

Viewed through a transitional 21st century lens, the focus of the activity is on students’ thinking about a range of possibilities and the complexity of the relationships illustrated by the food web. From this perspective knowledge is still important but the student is required to use what they know to generate a range of possible answers. Students are also asked to think creatively as well as analytically.

C20th Lens
What do crabs eat?

Name two organisms eaten by seagulls.

Which two organisms are producers?

Name one herbivore.

What do the arrows represent?
Transitioning to C21st lens
If all the shrimps got a disease and died, what might the short and long term consequences be to the ecosystem? Describe as many possible consequences as you can and explain which you think are most likely. Why does/ would this matter to this ecosystem/ to other ecosystems?

Some people looking at this food web might say that rock cod numbers might decrease if shrimps die out. What reasons support this view? Others might think rock cod numbers might increase if shrimps die out. What reasons support this view?

Why do you think a scientist might be worried if all the shrimps died out? Why might a fisherman be worried?  How important do you think the shrimps are? Why?

This activity looks at the relationships within the rocky shore ecosystem. Think of another system and brainstorm all the consequences of removing one part of this system. E.g. what would happen to the life on Earth if all the oil was used up? In what ways is this similar and in what ways is it different to the shrimps dying out?