Investigating Food Webs
This teaching and learning sequence relates to the Year 9 Science Biological Sciences content, focusing primarily on ecosystems and the interactions occurring within them. Research conducted on alpine tree frogs and the Baw Baw frogs by Professor Don Driscoll and his team provides a context for students to examine food chains and food webs and gain a deep understanding of the organisms and their interactions within these.
Don Driscoll’s study of the population decline of the Alpine Tree Frog (ATF) due to chytridiomycosis an amphibian chytrid fungus disease paved the way for his current research on the effects of this fungal disease on the Baw Baw frog population. This species was chosen based on its endangered status due to the chytrid fungus and provides a local context to the class and focuses on the authentic use of the information they are learning. Students gradually explore the different relationships in the form of a food web that can show the distribution of energy flow and the effects of a sudden change in the environment. The students should be able to understand the importance of studying and preserving ecosystems and biodiversity by the end of this lesson sequence.