Trophic Cascades at Biointeractive

trophic cascades worksheet
Trophic Cascades Worksheet

This worksheet is designed for the Interactive Activity on Trophic Cascades at HHMI Biointeractive . Students learn how the loss or addition of a species, like a fox, can affect other organisms in the system. Students complete the worksheet by answering questions as they explore the interactive activity. The activity illustrates a trophic cascade in several ecosystems, such as the tundra and rain forest.

There are two versions of this activity, one designed for remote home learning and the other as a paper handout that can be completed in class while students access the interactive site on a computer. Both are linked as a google document which can then be exported as a word file or pdf.

Exploring Trophic Cascades (remote)
Exploring Trophic Cascades (handout)

The only difference between these two worksheet is the remote version has highlighted text fields that will make it easier to grade and the handout version also has an image to label showing how the sea otter, sea urchins, and kelp are related within the ocean ecosystem.

I start my ecology unit with the concept of trophic cascades which includes watching the HHMI Film on Keystone Species. Then students learn the basic vocabulary related to ecology (population, community, habitat, biome) and explore food webs.

You can find other resources on how I teach this unit with the anchoring phenomenon of trophic cascades at this page.

trophic cascade with sea otter
Trophic Cascade – Sea Otters and Kelp