Ecological Pool

Principle of Science: Interdependence of Ecosystems

Observe closely the life forms here, and note the cleanliness of the water. Use binoculars to observe life forms invisible to the naked eye.

The Ecological Pool is a microcosm of life on earth. Plants, insects, and fish, plus the occasional visiting frog and bird will live lives of continuing harmony. The essential energy input is sunlight, which plants use to make their food – sugar – by combining oxygen, hydrogen and carbon. Sugar, reworked into complex structures by the plant, becomes cellulose, plant life’s basic building block. Herbivorous insects and fish eat the plants, and in turn are eaten by carnivorous insects and fish. Bodily excretions, and dead plants, insects and fish, will provide a fresh supply of carbon and oxygen for the sugar-making plants, which also use water as a source of oxygen, as well as hydrogen.

Such a persisting biological community and its environment – an ecosystem – is a scaled down model, only modestly simplified, of the planetary life system. All life on earth is interdependent, and at the same time dependent on several external factors, such as a supply of oxygen and sunlight. Alter the balance sufficiently, and disaster looms. Maintain the balance and life will flourish.