4.3 Identifying organisms
Identifying organisms inhabiting a particular ecosystem can be difficult. You are encouraged to do just that, using the iSpot website to help identification. Chris Packham introduces you to iSpot.
Discovering the species of organism that inhabits a particular ecosystem is obviously a crucial stage in working out the interactions that form the food chains and routes of energy flow in ecosystems. Identification can be difficult but there are online resources available to help. In this practical activity you are encouraged to go and look at animals, plants or fungi in a habitat that is easily accessible to you, photograph them if you can, and use the iSpot website to get help in identification. You will need to register with the iSpot website, but registration is free.
Try and find four different organisms living in a habitat near you and suggest the place that they might occupy in an ecosystem. Ideally, for each you should take a photograph and upload it to iSpot guidance document.. You will find instructions on how to do this in the
If you live in a region of the world where the climate is seasonal, you could look for organisms that are characteristic of the season of the year.
The Great British Year poster covers the British seasons and suggests organisms to look out for each month.
For any observation that you upload you can see if an interaction with another species has been recorded. You can also record an interaction that you have observed. For example, a photo of a butterfly might be linked to a particular food plant. Using the interaction feature on iSpot enables you to begin to construct links within an ecosystem.
Be sure to tag your contribution as #oueco, so that you can connect with observations made by others on this course. Finally, contribute your observations to the discussion in the next step.