Your terrarium should operate as a functioning ecosystem. The information produced in this section will be used to generate understanding of the task and will be used to formulate your discussion. Identify and justify where you would position the terrarium to ensure there is enough sunlight without it overheating. The terrarium should be placed in a brightly lit spot but not in direct sunlight or near heaters. Turn the container around every few weeks to stop the plants from becoming lopsided leaning towards the light. If left in direct sunlight the temperature inside the terrarium will rise and will burn or kill the plants. Place the terrarium in north or northeast location as this would provide the sufficient light without direct sunlight. The terrarium needs the light to provide energy to the plant to create its own food through the process of photosynthesis. The terrarium is a good example of the process of transpiration where the roots absorb the moisture from the soil, the moisture passes through the stem to the branches and leaves and then evaporates into the air from the leaves. The water vapour condenses on the lid and sides of the terrarium and water droplets form and drop back into the soil. Exception to this would be dependent on the plants inside the terrarium as some plants like African violets require some direct sunlight.
Use the picture below to explain how oxygen, carbon dioxide and water are used and recycled in the terrarium.
The plants in the terrarium take in the carbon dioxide during the day and produce oxygen but than at night they take in oxygen and produce carbon dioxide. As a result air is constantly cycled through the terrarium. Most plants give off water to the air through the process of transpiration. This keeps the terrarium humid and allows the system to recycle the water back to the plant. Evaporated water condenses on the sides and top of the terrarium and flows back down to the soil below. The roots of the plants...
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