Coastal Ecology—Energy Flow

Summary: Students will construct an energy pyramid and then create a food web of organisms in appropriate trophic levels of the ocean.

Concepts to teach: Food webs, ocean habitats

Goals: Use life history facts to create energy pyramids and food webs. Make connections between energy consumption and ecosystem dynamics in marine environments.


Specific Objectives:

  1. Create energy pyramids based on real life history information.
  2. dentify the interdependence of producers and consumers.
  3. Demonstrate the impact of resource availability changes in natural systems.
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of the effects of outside influences on food webs and ecosystems.

Activity Links and Resources:


  • Assess the created food webs on accuracy, neatness, and creativity. The writing assignment can also be graded or extended to require students to investigate marine food webs further. They could also compare them to other systems and explain the similarities and differences among various systems’ food webs.