SC.912.L.17.9

Use a food web to identify and distinguish producers, consumers, and decomposers. Explain the pathway of energy transfer through trophic levels and the reduction of available energy at successive trophic levels.
General Information
Subject Area: Science
Grade: 912
Body of Knowledge: Life Science
Idea: Level 2: Basic Application of Skills & Concepts
Standard: Interdependence -

A. The distribution and abundance of organisms is determined by the interactions between organisms, and between organisms and the non-living environment.

B. Energy and nutrients move within and between biotic and abiotic components of ecosystems via physical, chemical and biological processes.

C. Human activities and natural events can have profound effects on populations, biodiversity and ecosystem processes.

Date Adopted or Revised: 02/08
Date of Last Rating: 05/08
Status: State Board Approved
Assessed: Yes
Test Item Specifications
    Also Assesses:

    SC.912.E.7.1 Analyze the movement of matter and energy through the different biogeochemical cycles, including water and carbon.

  • Clarification :

    Students will describe the energy pathways through the different trophic levels of a food web or energy pyramid.

    Students will analyze the movement of matter through different biogeochemical cycles.

  • Content Limits :

    Items referring to organisms in food webs are limited to the impact of changes in matter or energy in trophic levels.

    Items addressing food webs will require application of the knowledge of roles of organisms in a food web to describe energy pathways rather than the identification of producers, consumers (primary, secondary, tertiary), and decomposers.

    Items will not require knowledge of specific organisms or their feeding habits.

    Items assessing biogeochemical cycles are limited to the water cycle and the carbon cycle.

    Items referring to the biogeochemical cycles may address but will not assess photosynthesis and cellular respiration in isolation.

  • Stimulus Attributes :
    Scenarios will express energy in joules (J).
  • Response Attributes :
    None specified
  • Prior Knowledge :
    Items may require the student to apply scientific knowledge described in the NGSSS from lower grades. This benchmark requires prerequisite knowledge of SC.7.L.17.1, SC.7.L.17.2, SC.8.L.18.3, SC.8.L.18.4, SC.6.E.7.4, SC.8.P.9.1, SC.7.P.11.2, and SC.7.P.11.3.
Sample Test Items (1)
  • Test Item #: Sample Item 1
  • Question:

    A team of ecologists observed feeding patterns of several populations in the desert. The energy pyramid shown below depicts the feeding patterns the ecologists observed.

     

    Which of the following best explains the difference in the amount of available energy in the trophic levels of the desert ecosystem?

  • Difficulty: N/A
  • Type: MC: Multiple Choice

Related Courses

This benchmark is part of these courses.
2002080: M/J Comprehensive Science 2, Advanced (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2000310: Biology 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2000320: Biology 1 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2000330: Biology 2 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2000430: Biology Technology (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
3027020: Biotechnology 2 (Specifically in versions: 2015 and beyond (current))
2000370: Botany (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2000380: Ecology (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2001340: Environmental Science (Specifically in versions: 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2002490: Forensic Sciences 2 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2017, 2017 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2002400: Integrated Science 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2002410: Integrated Science 1 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2002420: Integrated Science 2 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2002430: Integrated Science 2 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2002450: Integrated Science 3 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2000390: Limnology (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018 (course terminated))
2002500: Marine Science 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2002510: Marine Science 1 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2000410: Zoology (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2000020: M/J Life Science, Advanced (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2000800: Florida's Preinternational Baccalaureate Biology 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
7920015: Access Biology 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 and beyond (current))
7920025: Access Integrated Science 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 and beyond (current))
2002085: M/J Comprehensive Science 2 Accelerated Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2000315: Biology 1 for Credit Recovery (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2002405: Integrated Science 1 for Credit Recovery (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2020 (course terminated))
2002425: Integrated Science 2 for Credit Recovery (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2020 (course terminated))
2001341: Environmental Science Honors (Specifically in versions: 2016 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))

Related Access Points

Alternate version of this benchmark for students with significant cognitive disabilities.
SC.912.L.17.In.5: Identify the components of a food web, including sunlight, producers, consumers, and decomposers, and trace the flow of energy from the Sun.
SC.912.L.17.Su.5: Identify producers, consumers, and decomposers in a simple food chain.
SC.912.L.17.Pa.5: Recognize that animals (consumers) eat animals and plants for food.

Related Resources

Vetted resources educators can use to teach the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

Lesson Plans

Forests of the Living Dead:

In this lesson, students will read a National Science Foundation article that discusses a 200-year study into the mortality of forests. The process of decomposition and the importance of decaying wood in a forest are explained in great detail. The research described has altered and changed the management plans for forest ecosystems worldwide.

This lesson is designed to support reading in the content area. It includes a note-taking guide, a vocabulary guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Biological Magnification in Aquatic Ecosystems:

This lesson is a hands-on, one-day lab that uses candies to simulate biological magnification. Students learn about energy transfer and DDT accumulation through tropic levels in an aquatic ecosystem.

Type: Lesson Plan

What happens to available energy as it moves through an ecosystem?:

This activity is a lab exercise where students look at the passing of water in cups and compare it to the loss of available energy as it moves through an ecosystem. Students will collect data, calculate efficiency, graph the data and respond to reflection questions to connect the data to what happens in an ecosystem. The end of the activity includes a connection to the 10% rule where only 10% of energy from one trophic level is available at the next level.

Type: Lesson Plan

Disentangling Food Webs:

In this lesson, students create a food web using information about a group of non-existent species. They will use the food web to create food chains and a population pyramid that will show the flow of energy through the food web. Finally, they will explore how changing the population size of one species affects other species, often with unpredicted results. 

Type: Lesson Plan

Food Webs:

In this lesson students will show how energy flows through the ecosystem by constructing a food web, identifying, consumers, producers and decomposers, and the different trophic levels within it.

Type: Lesson Plan

Food chains and the organisms in them!:

This lesson plan will give the students the opportunity to use their prior knowledge about food chains and food webs. It will be student centered with the teacher merely being a facilitator the entire class. There are 2 different activities that the teacher has the option to select from. Any of the activities will definitely have the students learning and engaged the entire class.

Type: Lesson Plan

Ecosystems:

This lesson has been created to help students show you the pathway of energy transfer through trophic levels by reading assigned stories that take place in ecosystems.  It begins with a detailed lecture with embedded questions. Then they will create a poster in the end with a food web, isolated food chain, and energy pyramid. 

Type: Lesson Plan

Designing an Ecosystem:

In this lesson students will design a completely imaginary ecosystem that is comprised of producers, consumers, secondary consumers, and decomposers. Students will design the ecosystem by determining the location of the ecosystem and the biotic and abiotic factors in the ecosystem. The students will also include the number of organisms at each trophic level, and any adaptations the organisms must have to live in their ecosystem.

Type: Lesson Plan

Food Web:

Food web
Energy Pyramid
Producers
Consumers

Type: Lesson Plan

Food Webs and Energy Transfer:

Students will learn about trophic levels, energy relationships, and how producers, consumers, and decomposers interact.

Type: Lesson Plan

Original Student Tutorials

Untangling Food Webs:

Learn how living organisms can be organized into food webs and how energy is transferred through a food web from producers to consumers to decomposers. This interactive tutorial also includes interactive knowledge checks.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Periphyton in the Everglades:

Explore species interdependence focusing on roles played by periphyton in the Everglades ecosystem with this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Perspectives Video: Experts

Relationships of Organisms in the Kenyan Savannah:

Patrick Milligan discusses the relationship of organisms in the Kenyan savannah.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Bioaccumulation of Methylmercury in the Everglades:

Dr. Melodie Naja describes the link between agricultural pollutants and the bioaccumulation of methylmercury in the fresh surface waters of the Everglades.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Periphyton in the Everglades:

Periphyton plays several vital roles in the Everglades. Watch now to find out more!

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Energy Transfer through Model Food Web Communities:

Dr. Tom Miller explains the major roles in food web communities and describes a model system for exploring energy transfer between organisms.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Perspectives Video: Teaching Ideas

Teaching Food Webs with the Encyclopedia of Life:

Dr. Jeff Holmes from the Harvard University Museum of Comparative Zoology discusses the Encyclopedia of Life as a teaching resource for concepts regarding food webs.

This video was created in collaboration with the Okaloosa County SCIENCE Partnership including the Smithsonian Institution and Harvard University.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Teaching Idea

Building Model Food Webs in the Classroom:

It's all connected. Check out this food web lesson idea.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Teaching Idea

Text Resource

In the Valley of Wolves: Reintroduction of the Wolves:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone has resulted in many changes in the ecosystem. Before the wolves were reintroduced, large elk populations destroyed aspen and willow trees, preventing their reproduction. Since wolves were reintroduced, elk have had to change their browsing behavior, allowing some vegetation to recover in certain areas. This has affected many other species, including beavers, birds, fish and insects.

Type: Text Resource

Tutorials

Words in the Wild: Vocabulary Strategies:

Click "View Site" to open a full-screen version. This tutorial is designed to help secondary science teachers learn how to integrate literacy skills into their science curriculum. This tutorial will demonstrate a number of strategies teachers can impart to students to help them use context clues to determine the meaning of unfamiliar words within science texts. It will also help them teach students how to select the appropriate definition from reference materials. The focus on literacy across content areas is intended to help foster students' reading, writing, and thinking skills in multiple disciplines.

Type: Tutorial

Dead Stuff: The Secret Ingredient in Our Food Chain:

When you picture the lowest levels of the food chain, you might imagine herbivores happily munching on lush, living green plants. But this idyllic image leaves out a huge (and slightly less appetizing) source of nourishment: dead stuff. John C. Moore details the "brown food chain," explaining how such unlikely delicacies as pond scum and animal feces contribute enormous amounts of energy to our ecosystems.

Type: Tutorial

The Secret Life of Plankton:

This short video opens up the oceans' microscopic ecosystem, revealing its beauty and complexity. Footage from the Plankton Chronicles Project is used to create a video designed to ignite wonder and curiosity about this hidden world that underpins our own food chain.

Type: Tutorial

Population Ecology:

In this interactive, explore one of the most well-understood mass seedings—that of oak-tree acorn crops—and its widespread effects on various animals in the ecosystem as well as on nearby human populations.

Type: Tutorial

Video/Audio/Animation

The Ecological Cost of Dinner:

This lesson is about the flow of energy in ecosystems. The setting is Plimoth Plantation, a living history museum in Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA, where students will learn about the first Thanksgiving meal in America, celebrated in 1621 by early American settlers and Wampanoag Indians. By examining this meal and comparing it to a modern day Thanksgiving celebration, students will be able to explore the way in which food energy moves and is transformed in an ecosystem. The learning goals focus on the movement of energy from one feeding level to the next within a food web, the way in which energy changes form, and the inefficiency of energy transfer, which in turn affects the availability of food energy for organisms at the highest feeding level. The lesson is directed at high school level biology students. Students should be familiar already with food webs, food chains, and trophic (feeding) levels. They should also be familiar with the general equations for photosynthesis: 6H2O + 6CO+ Energy(light) -> C6H12O6 + 6O2 and cell respiration: C6H12O6 + 6O2 -> 6H2O + 6CO+Energy(about 38ATP), and understand the basic purpose of these processes in nature. This lesson can be completed during one long classroom period, or can be divided over two or more class meetings. The duration of the lesson will depend on prior knowledge of the students and on the amount of time allotted for student discussion. There are no supplies required for this lesson other than the downloadable worksheets (accessed on this BLOSSOMS site), paper and some glue or tape. 

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Original Student Tutorials Science - Grades 9-12

Periphyton in the Everglades:

Explore species interdependence focusing on roles played by periphyton in the Everglades ecosystem with this interactive tutorial.

Untangling Food Webs:

Learn how living organisms can be organized into food webs and how energy is transferred through a food web from producers to consumers to decomposers. This interactive tutorial also includes interactive knowledge checks.

Student Resources

Vetted resources students can use to learn the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

Original Student Tutorials

Untangling Food Webs:

Learn how living organisms can be organized into food webs and how energy is transferred through a food web from producers to consumers to decomposers. This interactive tutorial also includes interactive knowledge checks.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Periphyton in the Everglades:

Explore species interdependence focusing on roles played by periphyton in the Everglades ecosystem with this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Tutorials

Dead Stuff: The Secret Ingredient in Our Food Chain:

When you picture the lowest levels of the food chain, you might imagine herbivores happily munching on lush, living green plants. But this idyllic image leaves out a huge (and slightly less appetizing) source of nourishment: dead stuff. John C. Moore details the "brown food chain," explaining how such unlikely delicacies as pond scum and animal feces contribute enormous amounts of energy to our ecosystems.

Type: Tutorial

The Secret Life of Plankton:

This short video opens up the oceans' microscopic ecosystem, revealing its beauty and complexity. Footage from the Plankton Chronicles Project is used to create a video designed to ignite wonder and curiosity about this hidden world that underpins our own food chain.

Type: Tutorial

Parent Resources

Vetted resources caregivers can use to help students learn the concepts and skills in this benchmark.