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Dirtmeister's Science Lab
on Ecosystems

What is an Ecosystem?

As spring arrives, new life begins popping up all over the place. Trees start budding, birds start singing, and the soil teems with all sorts of interesting critters. At first glance, it looks like each one of these life-forms is going its own way and doing its own thing. The truth is that they're all connected in a big web of life called an ecosystem. Most natural ecosystems are in a delicate balance, so that even a small change in one part of it will have a tremendous effect on all the other life-forms present. Ecology is the science that studies how life-forms interact with each other and their environment. Learning about these connections among living things takes a great deal of observing, recording, and testing.

In my Science Lab, you'll set up a mini-ecosystem of your own. By changing some of the natural conditions in the environment, you'll see just how many connections there really are! Please note that because changes in ecosystems take time, you'll need at least two weeks to complete this activity.

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