An ecosystem can be defined as a community of organisms along with their physical environment. An Ecocolumn is a model of an ecosystem on a small scale, and generally includes a terrestrial habitat, with a compost unit, and an aquatic habitat.
Many ecosystem concepts can be investigated using an Ecocolumn and probeware. Conductivity Probes, CO2 Gas Sensors, Light Probes, Relative Humidity Sensors, Soil Moisture Sensors, Temperature Probes, and other sensors can be used to collect meaningful data.
In the Preliminary Activity, you will gain experience using a Soil Moisture Sensor and learn soil moisture measuring technique as you determine the volumetric soil water content of a soil sample.
After completing the Preliminary Activity, you will first use reference sources to find out more about ecosystem concepts before you choose and investigate a researchable question dealing with ecosystems. Some topics to consider in your reference search are:
Sensors and Equipment
This investigation requires each of the following Vernier sensors and equipment (unless otherwise noted):
Step-by-step instructions for the Preliminary Activity
List of materials and equipment
Note: The experiment preview of the Preliminary Activity does not include essential teacher information, safety tips, or sample data. Instructions for Logger Pro and other software (such as LabQuest App or TI handheld software, where available) are on the CD that accompanies the book. We strongly recommend that you purchase the book before performing experiments.