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Exploring wetland ecosystems

Ecolinc
Full Day
Book Program
Year Levels

Background

A wetland is an ecosystem that is saturated with water, either permanently or seasonally, and includes swamps, marshes, flood plains, lakes and bogs. The water itself can be either saltwater, freshwater or brackish. 
 
Wetland water is rich in nutrients, attracting and sustaining many different types of plants and animals, including invertebrates, fish, amphibians, reptiles, mammals and birds. Wetlands are unique ecosystems that provide food and water, habitat and breeding grounds and places to shelter during drought. 
 
Ecolinc has a man-made wetland, which was built to remove harmful pollutants in stormwater before they reach the Werribee River. The Ecolinc wetland attracts birds, reptiles, and frogs including the endangered Growling Grass Frog. 
 
Note: Maximum number of students for this program is 50 per day.

Learning Intentions

In this activity students will:

  • Learn how organisms are connected through the wetland food web
  • Learn how small changes in the food web may have large scale effects.

Activities

The students will:

  • Explore the Ecolinc wetland
  • Identify wetland organisms using Stereo microscopes in the laboratory 
  • Describe how wetland organisms are connected through the food web
  • Describe the cause and effect of adding and removing organisms in a food web.

Victorian Curriculum

  • Interactions between organisms can be described in terms of food chains and food webs and can be affected by human activity  (VCSSU093)
  • Water is an important resource that cycles through the environment (VCSSU101)
  • Ways that flows of water connect places as they move through the environment and the ways this affects places (VCGGK106)