What role do aspect, slope, sun, snow melt, blackbody absorption and elevation play in soil moisture conditions and why is soil moisture important to the structure of an ecosystem?
This lesson focuses on the role of aspect, slope, seasonal sun availability, snow melt, blackbody absorption, and elevation in soil moisture conditions. Soil moisture is one of the most important factors determining the composition of plant communities and ultimately the ecosystem structure. The amount of snowpack and the amount of time it takes to melt off each summer impacts the growing season and the ability of trees to survive. Where trees can no longer survive, alpine meadows predominate, but soil moisture conditions determine whether they are "wet" or "dry" meadows.
Review the Essential Question.
Introduce the guiding Question.
Students should take a few minutes to respond to the first reflection prompts. Discuss their answers and any questions they've generated.
Hand out the Vocabulary Notes. With this lesson you may want to define the words before presenting the PowerPoint Lesson.
Present the PowerPoint Lesson.
Run Demonstration on blackbody radiation absorption.
Hand out the second Reflection Journal Page. Give students time for a final reflection on the lesson.