Mushrooms are typically found on the ground, logs, and trees of forests. Many people hunt mushrooms in order to use them as cooking ingredients. However, that’s not the only good thing about mushrooms. These fungi have an important role to play in the environment, where they provide matter and energy to living things. We will discuss how mushrooms do this in the following lesson.
I can explain how mushrooms and other fungi are important for the environment.
Build Food Chains and Food Webs
Either individually or as a class, complete the interactive in which students will develop different food chains and food webs.
Clarify to students that decomposers like mushrooms are not shown in these food chains and food webs, but are a critical part of the ecosystems.
Further, have students point out where decomposers would fit into the various food web models in the interactive.
Have students read the article. Form a class discussion to address why decomposers like fungi are essential to an ecosystem.
Food Web Model with Decomposer
Analyze the food web model showing interactions and the transfer of matter and energy among organisms in a forest environment. Post the following questions to students:
This learning resource is a production of Maryland Public Television/Thinkport.