Competition for Resources In Ecosystems Science Games
In this series of games, your students will learn how species compete amongst themselves and with one another, and what influences this competition. The Competition for Resources in Ecosystems learning objective — based on NGSS and state standards — delivers improved student engagement and academic performance in your classroom, as demonstrated by research.
Scroll down for a preview of this learning objective’s games and the concepts they drive home.
Universally, organisms need air, food, water, sunlight, space, and shelter to survive. Access to these resources is limited, so organisms within an ecosystem compete with each other to obtain the resources
In intraspecific competition, groups or individuals of the same species go after the same resources, since they all need the same things to survive. Organisms from different species compete for resources as well, called interspecies competition. For example, sharks, dolphins, and seabirds often eat the same type of fish in ocean ecosystems.
Competition can be direct or indirect. In direct competition, organisms interact with each other to obtain a resource, like two birds fighting over a fish. In indirect competition, they affect each other’s access to resources without actually interacting.
One type of indirect competition is exploitative competition, when one group or individual uses so much of a resource that others cannot use it. For example, a growing wolf population could eat the whole food supply of other carnivores.
Another type of indirect competition is apparent competition, when a change in one prey species’ population affects another. For example, chipmunks and mice have some of the same predators, so if an environmental change makes the chipmunk decrease, more mice will be eaten.
A number of external factors can affect resource competition. These include the emergence of invasive species, environmental change, natural disasters, disease, and human activity.
A preview of each game in the learning objective is found below.
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