Flow With The Chain By: Isabel S.,Patty A.,Lucero P., Fatima
Greetings all! Just a little catch up with what we are doing, we (7th graders) are designing a garden for the Project Ventura, which we are collaborating with the 10th graders. Based on surveys and replies, we are to design a garden that meets most/all of the wishes wanted. Currently in our science class, we have just finished learning about the Nitrogen Cycle and Carbon Cycle. Both cycles play a large role with nature and our gardens. For example, the carbon cycle is cycled through living things through photosynthesis where carbon dioxide, water and energy from the sun converts to food for plants that become food for other living organisms. With that being told, wild animals eat plants for food, which leads to food chains. And of course, none of us could be here without plants.
A food web is a chain showing the flow of energy. It shows what organism eats which organism. It shows how animal eats a different animal, but a different animals eats the animal that ate the different animal first. To clarify, it’s just a chain of consumers and producers. An example of a food chain could be when there is an underwater plant then a fish comes and eats the plant. After the fish eats the plant, a bird catches the fish and then a bigger bird eats the smaller bird, humans hunt the bigger bird, they eat it, and then the remains decompose. Another example is when a bird eats worms, then a cat comes and eats the bird, then a coyote eats the cat. So one animals eats one another.
(Source: Soil Food Webs New York: http://www.soilfoodwebnewyork.com/)
Have you noticed something? If not, the sun is always the major role in a food chain. From personal experiences, we have had animals come and eat our plants. We have plants that attract butterflies, which is great for two reasons. One, butterfly’s are gorgeous to see and two, they help our plants. But butterflies aren’t attracted to all types of plants. We have had some animals, such as squirrels come in and eat our sunflowers. Of course, we can spray plants with insecticides to keep the animals away, but not only does that affect the animal, but the plant as well. There are some insecticides that kill our plants, so at the end, both the plant and animal end up losing. Of course, insecticides is not always the answer. You can physically take off the animals off the plants. It’s also important to know which animals are good and which ones are not. Some animals may be hard to identify as good or bad. One example is the Lady Bug. The original lady bug is red with black spots, but there is the Lady beetle Larva that looks some what identical as the lady bug. It’s yellow, but has black spots, so many people leave it in their gardens. We need to be able to recognize what animals eat our plants because like any other food chain, our plants are in danger. It’s important for us to know how to protect our plants because if we don’t, our plants will end up remaining as a stick, and all the money spent going to the trash.
Food webs play into our project because there’s going to be different organisms that need to eat. The plants are going to get nutrients and water from the soil. The bugs are going to eat the plants (dead bugs will supply the soil with nutrients). The teachers are going to eat some of the vegetables (possibly) that is on the plants. If birds come then they will eat the bugs (the bird poop with also give nutrients to the soil.) A plant is the first thing in a food chain (not including the sun for energy) and we need to take care of them because there are many hungry animals out there.
One example of a food chain that involves our plants is, the sun gives our apple tree, tomato plant, anacacho orchid, bicolor iris and cucumber plant energy so that they can produce photosynthesis and we are allowed to eat the vegetables. Like any other garden, we will have insects, both good or bad. If the cucumber beetle comes and eats our cucumber plant, the beetle will get energy from the plant. If another animal wonders by for example the predatory flies and eats the cucumber beetle, the predatory gets its energy from the cucumber beetle, who got its energy from the plant.
We know that it’s a long process, but it’s an important thing to know when gardening! Our Garden Ventura Project (The Environmental F.L.I.P.) is going to include different fruits, vegetables, and flowers that will hopefully attract other organisms! We have an idea of what types of organisms our plants will attract, yet we can’t wait to discover other new insects and animals we will see!