Presentation on theme: "Barwon River Ecosystem Health"— Presentation transcript:
1 Barwon River Ecosystem Health Field Trip Teaching and Learning ResourceBy Meagan Hinch
2 Barwon River Ecosystem Health This resource has been developed to highlight the pedagogical possibilities of undertaking field work along one or a number of points along the Barwon River in Geelong, Victoria. The field trip can assist in the application of field work techniques as well as address the topic content for VCE Biology Unit 2: ‘Organisms and their Environment’.
3 The students will be investigating the biotic and abiotic factors that indicate the health of the river ecosystem.
4 The Barwon River flows from the Otway Ranges along the coast of Southern Victoria and flows into the ocean at Barwon Heads. The river system flows through Geelong, with many of Geelong’s storm water drains flowing directly into the river system.In the past the river was used as a dump for toxic wastes and heated water from leather tanners and other factories.
5 It is important to point out that this resource can be adapted and implemented along any waterway close to your school......It can also be adapted or simplified for use with middle years SOSE and Science units
8 Students studyThe relationships between living things and their environmentOperation of biotic and abiotic factors in the bioshpere and how factors influence the organisms that live thereEcosystems as self sustaining systems in which energy flows and matter is cycled between living and non living components of environmentHow features possessed by organisms affect their fitness and reproductive success in relation to their habitatConsider how species are affected by changes in environmental condition, whether natural or human inducedChanges that have taken place in selected ecosystemsHow ecological principles can be applied to conserve natural systems and restore damaged ones to ensure sustainability of ecoystemsInvestigate how technologies are being used to monitor and manage natural ecosystems and those developed to provide resources for humans
9 Unit 2: Area of Study 1 Adaptations of Organisms Key Knowledge Diversity of living thingsBiotic and abiotic factorsTechniques to monitor environmental changeSpecies adaptations to environmental change
10 Unit 2: Area of Study 2 Dynamic Ecosystems Key Knowledge Environmental requirements of EcosystemsComponents of EcosystemsPopulation studiesCommunities of organismsTechniques for monitoring and maintaining ecosystemsSurvival within ecosystemsBioaccumulation of toxins in food websThe variety and effects of regular and short term environmental change and irregular change on ecosystemsLonger term environmental change and its effects on present day global distribution of organismsHuman induced environmental changeUnit 2: Area of Study 2 Dynamic Ecosystems Key Knowledge
11 Unit 2: Key Skills Investigate and enquire scientifically Apply biological understandingsSelect and use equipment appropriate for investigationEvaluate experimental procedures and reliability of dataCollect, process and record information systematicallyDraw conclusions consistent with the questions under investigation and evidence obtainedCommunicate biological information and understandings
12 Unit 2 Area of Study 2 Dynamic ecosystems Outcome 2 Students conduct and report on a field investigation exploring the interactions of living things in their environment and explain how ecosystems change over time.
13 Outcome 2: Field Work Identify components of a freshwater ecosystem Examine relationships between organisms and their non-living environmentsUse appropriate field work techniques and equipment to monitor the environmentKnow how to record appropriate data and interpret that dataUnderstand safety requirements when working in the field
14 Outcome 2: Tasks Undertake field work Develop a scientific report Classify organisms into trophic levelsConstruct energy flow pyramidsUnderstand how ecosystems change over time due to natural and human influencesUse a computer program to model the effects of human induced changes, such as pollution on the freshwater ecosystem.
16 Discipline Based Learning: Science Science knowledge and understandingScience at workRespect for the living and non living environmentTo create engaged citizens who are capable of engaging in informed debate about science and its applicationsEmphasis on the role of Science and the work of scientists of addressing issues of sustainability at a local and global level.
17 Interdisciplinary Learning CommunicationUse of technologyThinking process and inquiryReasoning, process and inquiryReflection, evaluation and metacognition
18 Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) Links
19 ACARAStudents should already have an understanding of the following from previous studies of science from prep to year 10:Science understanding:Students select and integrate appropriate science knowledge in ways that explain and predict phenomena, and apply that knowledge to new situations and events. Science knowledge represents the building blocks of science understanding but it is the dynamic nature of science understanding that will be beneficial to citizens in an ever-changing worldScience inquiry skills:Students pose questions, plan, conduct and critique investigations, collect, analyse and interpret evidence and communicate findings. Students also evaluate claims, investigate and making valid conclusions.Science as a human endeavour:Students understand that science influences society through the posing and responding to social and ethical issues and science research is influenced by societal challenges or social priorities . They understand the need for evidence-based decision making about current and future applications of science and acknowledge that, in making decisions about science and its practices, moral, ethical and social implications must be taken into account.Previous study and the Year 11 Biology unit provides a foundation for specific learning pathways leading to VCE Unit 3 and 4 Biology and science courses at university and technical and vocational education and training
21 Application of Field Work Techniques The following information details how to undertake the investigation on the health of the Barwon River Ecosystem at a chosen point along the rivers edge. It would be beneficial to undertake this investigation at two points along the river; one in an area with little human interference and another closer to a built up area for comparison.
22 Some Points on Field Safety.... When choosing the sample site, ensure it has easy access during all weather conditions.Check that the stream bank is stable and not too slippery.Inform someone of where you will be sampling and for how longWear appropriate clothing and footwear depending on the weather (e.g. Hat, warm clothing, shoes with a good grip)Ensure you have adequate sun protection (e.g. Sunscreen, hat, long sleeved clothes)Students should not sample or test without supervision and instructionBe aware of the natural environment when working at your chosen site (e.g. Snakes, holes, prickly vegetation)Do not put yourself or others at risk of falling into water and beware of stream currents and undertows when sampling macro invertebratesDo not drink the water from where you are testing as it may be polluted and ensure to wash hands after being in the fieldBe aware of the safety requirements of chemicals that are being used (MSDS of chemicals should be taken in the field kit with you) and ensure that chemical waste is disposed of appropriately (i.e. DO NOT release to environment under any circumstances)
23 Materials Required.....1. Water quality monitoring results sheets (see following slides for details) 2. Water quality testing kit and instructions - pH strips - Conductivity meter and calibration standard - Dissolved oxygen probe - Turbidity tubes - Reactive Phosphorus kit - Thermometers - Sample containers (i.e. Bucket, bottle) - Waste container - Safety equipment (e.g. Gloves, safety glasses, first aid kit) 3. Macro-invertebrate sweep sampling equipment - D-frame net - Magnifying glass to help with identification - White tray to empty sample for sorting - Ice cube trays - Plastic spoons and plastic pipettes (for transferring invertebrates to ice cube trays) - Macro-invertebrate reference books - Macro – invertebrate sensitivity charts
24 Barwon River Ecosystem Living and non-living componentsReedsTiger SnakeNative mouseBlack Shouldered KitepHAlgaeMayfly nymphLightRabbitFungiAntSoilWater boatmenWood White ButterflyTemperaturePacific Black DuckRed WattlebirdGang Gang CockatooHumanPelicanWaterFlowering EucalyptusFreshwater shrimpSpotted Marsh FrogFoxOxygenHuntsman SpiderFishGrassSalinityMosquitoPlatypusRainbow LorikeetWallabyPhosphorousLatham’s Snipe
25 Habitat SurveyThe condition of the vegetation in and around the waterway provides a good indication of the likely condition of the aquatic environment, contributes to water quality and provides an important source of food, shelter and breeding habitat for aquatic and terrestrial organisms.Use the following descriptions to assist in evaluating the condition of the habitat around your chosen site. The habitat survey should be undertaken on both sides of the waterway, 50 meters upstream and 50 meters downstream from your site. In addition, photos or sketches to accompany the survey would be complimentary.
26 Habitat Survey Bank Vegetation (Terrestrial) Bank vegetation refers to trees, shrubs, grasses etc, growing on the bank. Note canopy (the overhanging tree cover). This vegetation provides food and shelter for terrestrial organisms as well as aquatic organisms in the form of fallen leaves, twigs and branches.Verge Vegetation (Terrestrial)The stream verge is different from the bank. For the habitat survey the verge is considered the section of land up to 30 meters from the waters edge and can be judged by similar vegetation cover as the bank vegetation. Consider erosion. Streams naturally erode, usually on bends (meanders). However, an unstable stream results in continuous erosion along its channel. If the stream has been stabilised with concrete banks, the stream will obviously be stable with little erosion, but should not be ranked as highly as it has no vegetation cover, or it is greatly reduced.In-stream cover (Aquatic)In-stream cover includes snags, logs, rocks and plants. Consider floating, submerged, emergent and sedges. It provides aquatic animals with food, shelter from predators and the current. Plants are important as their presence has a direct effect on the available oxygen in the water. Protruding snags provide roosting sites for birds.
28 Investigating Abiotic Factors Abiotic factors include:TemperaturepHDissolved OxygenPhosphorousTurbiditySalinityTo maintain waterway health and diversity of life, these factors must stay within the range of natural variation for the specific water body being studied.
29 ABIOTIC FACTORSUsing the instructions and methods in the Water Testing Kit investigate the abiotic factors of your chosen site.Record the results in the table below.:Temperature (C⁰)Turbidity (NTI)pHPhosphorus (mg/L)Electrical Conductivity/Salinity (EC)Dissolved oxygen (mg/L)
30 Abiotic Factors Rating Table Use the table to interpret your abiotic factors results.Test/RatingExcellentGoodOKPoorTemperature5C - 18Cabove 18CTurbidity<1010 to 2020 to 50> 50pHoror< 5 or > 9Phosphorus<0.0150.015 – 0.060.06 – 0.14>0.14Salinity<800>6000Dissolved Oxygen80 – 110%60 – 80%40 – 60%<40%OVERALL RATINGEXCELLENTGOODOKPOOR
31 Investigating Biotic Factors In this investigation the students will be conducting a macro- invertebrate sweep to investigate the biotic factors at the chosen siteMacro-invertebrates are useful indicators of stream health because:They occupy a central role in the food chains of aquatic systemsMany live in the water for over a yearThey cannot easily escape pollution of changes in water qualityThey are relatively easy and inexpensive to sample
33 Macro-invertebrate Survey Using the macro-invertebrate reference books and sensitivity charts, list the names of macro-invertebrates found into the appropriate columns based on their sensitivity to pollution to give an indication of the rivers condition.Macro NumberVery SensitiveSensitiveTolerantVery Tolerant12345678910OVERALL RATINGPOORGOODEXCELLENT
34 For more information.....Contact your local Catchment Management Authority, Water Watch co-ordinator, water authority or local government environmental agency
35 Student Designed Report Students should present information from the field trip in a scientific report including:IntroductionAimHypothesisMaterialsMethodResultsDiscussionConclusion
36 Barwon River Ecosystem Students can investigate the following questions relating to organisms found in the Barwon River ecosystem (refer to living and non-living components list).1. Am I a producer or consumer?2. If I am a consumer, what order consumer am I?(1st, 2nd, 3rd etc)3. Which trophic level do I occupy?4. Am I a herbivore, carnivore or omnivore?5. What living factors affect my survival?6. What non-living factors affect my survival?7. What adaptations do I have to allow me to survive in my environment (structural, functional, behavioural)?
37 Student investigation Think about this..... How would the organisms found in the Barwon River Ecosystem cope if they were introduced to the upper regions of the Snowy River in the Snowy Mountains? Imagine that Climate Change gradually affected the Snowy River over thousands of years, and the ecosystem ended up similar to that of the Barwon River today. What do you think may have happened to the organisms originally found in the Snowy River? What may happen to the organisms if Climate Change affects the ecosystem in the next 50 years?
38 Useful sites and information ACARA – VCAA - VELS – Water Watch Victoria – Local Catchment Management Authorities –