Begin by discussing the main question posed at the beginning of the section, “How do resources cycle in a forested watershed?” This serves as a specific example of a forest community. Remind students to apply the same principles to other natural communities.
Discuss and define the term watershed. Assign the Journal Writing Prompt to reinforce the concept of a watershed and how it plays a role in the local community.
This section provides a perfect opportunity for students to see how scientists apply the scientific method in order to study the Hubbard Brook watershed. Assign the Mini Activity: How Do Scientists Know? to allow students to analyze the use of the scientific method.
Assign Activity 5-1: Go with the Flow: Hubbard Brook Watershed to investigate the effects of clear-cutting a forested area on d1e cycling of nutrients. This is a good opportunity for students to practice analyzing graphs.
Now that you have a good idea of what makes up a watershed, use a map and describe the watershed closest to your community. Include the name of the river and/or creeks that are a part of your local watershed.
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Why doesn't the concentration of nutrients flowing past the dam jump immediately after the trees have been cut down?
How Do Scientists Know? Students analyze graphs of data from the Hubbard Brook watershed experiment and answer the questions.
What Do You Think?
Look at Figure 5.5. The solid white line represents the concentration of nutrients flowing past the dam at the bottom of the watershed clear-cut by the scientists. The dotted white line is the flow past a dam at the bottom of a watershed that was not clear-cut. Explain why you think the scientists measured the nutrients at the “control” watershed.