Unit Guide

Key Learning:  Ecosystems are composed of interacting populations of organisms along with abiotic factors.  As these various factors interact with each other, changes can occur which can ultimately result in the changing of the ecosystem.  Species survive because of, and in spite of, interactions with other species.

UEQ:  How do species interact with each other in the environment?

Concept 1: Interdependent Relationships of Organisms Within the Biosphere

  • What influence do decomposers, producers, and consumers have on an ecosystem?
  • How do we use food webs and energy pyramids to show the flow of energy through an ecosystem?

Concept 2:  Biogeochemical Cycles

  • How can we analyze the movement of matter through the carbon and water cycles?

Concept 3: Aquatic Systems

  • How do multiple factors (chemistry, depth, salinity, light, and temperature) affect the distribution and variation of life in aquatic systems?

Concepts 4: Population Biology

  • How do multiple factors interact to determine population size?
  • How can we describe the conditions that may cause changes in ecosystems over time?

Concept 5: Conservation Biology & Environmental Policy

  • What are the major causes and effects of the loss of biodiversity?
  • How can we evaluate the costs and benefits of renewable and nonrenewable resources such as water, energy, fossil fuels, and forests?
  • How can we predict the impact that human activities have on environmental systems and sustainability?

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