Ecosystems Change

The collaboration of poems that my group and I put together focused on disturbances in an ecosystem. A disturbance is a change in an ecosystem caused by a specific event. These changes can affect a whole ecosystem or just a slight part of that particular place. Part of our inspiration for these poems was the time our class spent outside in the woods looking at and noting signs of a disturbance. All three of our poems utilize the free-verse writing format. The poems presented below vary from talking about all the factors of a disturbance, using signs of a disturbance to find out what occurred in this area, and finally the process of rebuilding of an ecosystem.


By Djenabou Kaba

An ecosystem.

Combined with biotic and abiotic parts.

Humans come, natural disasters do too.

Small scale.

Significant changes.

Eruptions. Floods. Fires.

Trees broken off, leaving only stumps.

Habitats ruined, leaving just a dump.

Rocks misplaced into some sort of a


Ecological succession incorporated,

while populations are arranged.

Some survive.

Some will die.

All factors of a disturbance.

Can They See?

By Ashley Maples

Can they see my stories

In the clues left behind?

Fallen trees, stomped leaves

Burned bark and rounded rocks

Can they see what’s happened

In the things done to me?

Fresh dirt, a patch bare of producers

Jagged stumps and numerous snags

Can they see the signs

Of the things that have changed me?

A nest left vacant, a bush picked bare

Both biotic and abiotic factors,

A system changed… for better or worse

Can they see my stories

In the clues left behind?

A Great Disturbance

By Brandon Jones

Things aren’t the way they used to be

There is hardly anything left of that pine tree

Our community that was once flourishing is now completely burned down,

Nothing living or thriving in it anywhere around

The once green, healthy trees are now bare and black with soot

In this environment, not one animal would want to step foot

Because how can the plants grow?

And where do the animals go?

This is no state that we’ll stay in

This change doesn’t mean the end,

It’s an opportunity for a new system to take place

The new organisms will take on their niches

Plants will produce

Animals will consume

Abiotic and biotic components will take their course

Together they will rebuild a foundation

A foundation that is growing a thriving ecosystem

Things may not be the exactly the way it used to be

Recovering from a loss takes time

So It may take a while

But our forest will be back


14 thoughts on “Ecosystems Change

  1. My poem was free-verse and about using signs of disturbance to figure out what happened to a particular ecosystem (i.e. burned bark, charred logs, and ashy soil might point to a forest fire). The main theme of my poem is change and I was trying to show just how much a forest and it’s ecosystem can be changed by the things we and other organisms do to it. I was inspired by the class time we spent outside finding and noting the signs of disturbance we saw. Forests can be changed by any number of things, big and small, and one of the challenges of my poem was trying to communicate that to my audience.

  2. The inspiration behind my poem was to show the main factors of disturbances in an ecosystem. Throughout my poem, I used key scientific vocabulary to point out what an actual disturbance is. Instead of focusing on just one sign of a disturbance, my poem focused on every sign and their effects. I chose to approach my topic in this way to convey to viewers that disturbances have different scales and how us humans and other natural things can change an ecosystem; also to show the different things that can occur due to a disturbance.

  3. When I had to come up with a topic to write about for a science poem, I knew that disturbance would be a good choice. The disturbance in this poem is a forest fire. I wanted this fire to represent a huge challenge being faced by something/someone(i.e, person, city, community, a project, etc), that seemed to completely destroy all the things that had a lot of effort put into it. But even after a forest fire, the forest doesn’t stay burned down. The poem then shifts to talking about the process of succession which is to resemble the “getting back up” or the “renewal.” This piece is to show how a lot of things in life don’t stay the same because there are gonna be some bumps in the road. But you eventually get over those bumps and on to a smoother path.

    Also: the overall style of the poem is free verse but notice how up until “Where will the plants grow?”, it rhymes. But after “This is no state that we will stay in” it changes style and stops rhyming. I decided to do that to go along with the theme of change and the ecosystem being different than before as it rebuilds.

    • I like how your poem has a jump in emotions like how at the start it is very grim starting with how a forest fire burnt the trees but then it ends on a happy note saying that the forest will grow back.

    • I think that your choice to start your poem after the change has already happened adds a nice style. It definitely adds to the optimistic view of how the forest will regrow to get the bad stuff out of the way at the beginning.

    • I liked how you said at the end of you poem how the forest will come back, but you still stated that it would take time. I liked that you used a happier tone at the end of your poem. It shows that you poem has some variety.

    • I liked how the beginning of the poem, it was fairly melancholy and dark because everything was destroyed in a forest fire as well as the fact that no organisms could or would want to live there, but it took a gradual turn in tone, saying that the forest would make a redemption and be a thriving ecosystem once again. I also liked how you rhymed at first, but then began to stop, loosing order and control, similar to what happens in a disturbance.

  4. I really like Ashley’s poem “Can they See?’, because it has a poetic rhythm integrated within it, and the way the topic is presented is also really well. The listing of the different kinds of disturbance left behind give the poem a rhythmic nature, and I love the way how within the poem the question “can they see?” is repeated multiple times. The progression of the text is also pretty neat. Great job, Ashley!

    • I love how Ashley’s poem give the big forest a big voice! “No! this is not right! I hope i can tell you what they’ve done to me through the evidence on my floors”! Great job!!!

      • I agree, I think the declaring language is very strong, it makes the reader question who the big forest is talking to. It also made me feel sympathetic towards the forest, but also makes me angry toward the forest’s audience because of the strong language.

  5. The order of these poems really adds to the theme of disturbance. The poems go first from how the ecosystem was effected to how it will recover in the end. After a disturbance in an ecosystem, although the results may be devastating, the ecosystem will recover.

  6. I really like the order the poems were in. How it started with the factors of disturbance to how to find what kind of disturbance to rebuilding again. I liked how Djenabou’s poem was somewhat dark and yet it showed every factor to what disturbance is. I liked how Ashley’s poem spoke on how to find and see what kind of disturbance and also was told in the perspective of the forest. I also liked how Brandon’s poem was about rebuilding and how the poem started off really dark then became lighter and more uplifting.

  7. I really enjoyed reading your poem Brandon, it was very detailed and I had a vivid image of what was going on. I liked how you made it very dark and sad in the beginning but ended it happily, to make the reader feel like their is hope for the future ecosystems.

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