How Seasons Change Ecosystems
Sunlight drives all living systems. Seasonal changes in sunlight affect the entire web of life:
Fall: Energy from the sun decreases. Temperatures drop. Plants die back or go dormant. Less food is available to animals. Some migrate, some hibernate, and others rely on other physical adaptations.
Spring: Energy from the sun increases. Temperatures rise. Plant growth increases. Migratory animals return. Those that eat plants appear first, followed by their predators — and so on up the food chain. Watch the food chain rebuild as the season progresses.
Track Seasonal Change
Observe the natural world closely. Record data, take photos, and make drawings. Look for patterns of seasonal change, and note webs of connections. By studying the timing of seasonal changes, students think like scientists who look for clues about how climate and other factors affect living things.
Share Your Observations
The observations you contribute to Journey North become part of a permanent database. Scientists can use Journey North data to monitor how living things are responding to changes in climate.