What makes the Cumberland Plain Woodland a good home?
A habitat is the home of a plant, animal or other living thing. What do you think a habitat provides for living things?
Habitats aren’t always easy to spot. They can be large and obvious like a tree hollow or a termites’ nest, but they can also be on a much smaller scale, often unnoticed by humans!
Think about the image to the right. How could different animal species use a large Forest Red Gum as habitat?
Add your thoughts to the whiteboard below:
How do species interact and why is this important for the survival of the woodland?
All living things have relationships that link them together. This can be described as the ‘Web of Life’. These can be:
- One way interactions – such as a wallaby eating grass
- Two way interactions – such as an ant collecting native saltbush seeds for food, whilst helping the plant spread its seeds across the woodland
- Complex interactions
Can you identify any more interactions from the woodland food web below?
Every single interaction is important for the functioning of the Cumberland Plain Woodland. Therefore, when managing remnants of the Cumberland Plain Woodland, it is important to conserve the diversity of living things (‘biodiversity’) and maintain the interactions between them.
What do you think would happen if one species, such as the endangered Cumberland Land Snail, were to become extinct and be removed from the ‘Web of Life’? Watch the video below to find out.
Who calls the Australian Botanic Garden home?
The Cumberland Plain Woodland at the Australian Botanic Garden has a variety of habitats and microhabitats due to the different soil types there, the range of plant types, the changing shape of the land (‘topography’), and past management practices. Areas like this provide a range of habitats, and therefore support a huge range of living organisms (or ‘biodiversity’).
Watch the video below to learn more about the range of animal species that call the Cumberland Plain Woodland at the Australian Botanic Garden home. How do you think these animals may interact with the plants in the Cumberland Plain Woodland and with each other?
Activities - 'Habitat, sweet habitat'
1. Habitat survey
Observe and document habitat usage in your local area, the Cumberland Plain Woodland, and in an artificial nest box that you will construct as a class. Click the links to access the teacher resource and student resource for this three-part activity.
2. One-way and two-way interactions
Use the honeycomb chart to identify as many one way and two-way species interactions in the woodland as possible. Create cartoons to illustrate these interactions and add them to your vegetation profile mural.
3. Untangling the woodland’s web of life
Use the Predict-Observe-Explain sequence to develop students’ understanding of how preserving the web of life is vital for the conservation of the woodland, through an investigation of how the extinction of an endangered animal species would impact the area. Click here to access the teacher resource for this three-part activity.
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