The Web of Life Sabino Canyon  
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Sabino Canyon Ecology
spider's web photogragh

The *ecosystem* is like a spider's web. If an insect steps onto the web, a spider can feel the vibration from any place in the web. Every piece of the web is connected to every other piece.

*Ecology* is the study of the relationships between the *biotic*, the living, and the *abiotic*, not living, features of a place. Plants, animals, and people are the living members of the Sabino Canyon community. The rocks, soil, mountains, and weather are the non-living things that make a difference on the lives of the plants, animals, and people. The ecosystem is "The Web of Life."

Sabino Canyon is in the Sonoran Desert. There are four deserts in North America. All four of these deserts are part of the state of Arizona. Here's a map to help you get the picture:

map of four Southwest deserts
  1. Sonoran Desert, in southern Arizona, southeastern California, and Mexico

  2. Mojave Desert, in southeastern California, southern Nevada, southwestern Utah, and touches northwestern Arizona

  3. Great Basin Desert, in Nevada, Utah, southern Idaho, southeastern Oregon, and northeastern Arizona

  4. Chihuahuan Desert, in Mexico and extends into southeast New Mexico, Texas, and touches southeastern Arizona.


The most important difference between the Sonoran Desert and the other three is that it has two rainy seasons, one in the winter and one in the summer. That means more plants can grow, and more plants means more food for animals. The Sonoran Desert has more diversity of living things than the other three North American deserts. That means that the *ecology* of Sabino Canyon is more complicated - and more interesting!

Nature is always trying to stay in balance, but nature is also always changing. We call it *dynamic equilibrium* when we describe this process of achieving balance with constant change.

The Ecology WebQuest found on this site is designed as a tool to help you explore other Internet resources on this topic.


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© 2001-2017 Judi Moreillon