Science / Year 9 / Science Understanding / Biological sciences

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Curriculum content descriptions

Ecosystems consist of communities of interdependent organisms and abiotic components of the environment; matter and energy flow through these systems (ACSSU176)

Elaborations
  • exploring interactions between organisms such as predator/prey, parasites, competitors, pollinators and disease
  • examining factors that affect population sizes such as seasonal changes, destruction of habitats, introduced species
  • considering how energy flows into and out of an ecosystem via the pathways of food webs, and how it must be replaced to maintain the sustainability of the system
  • investigating how ecosystems change as a result of events such as bushfires, drought and flooding
Cross-curriculum priorities
ScOT terms

Ecosystems

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Biodiversity and farming for a healthy planet

This is a digital resource containing information and resources, such as printable games, that relate to biodiversity and farming, and how food and materials can be produced while protecting the Earth's natural resources. It includes an extensive glossary of important terms, and external links to teacher and student resources ...

Interactive resource

The Circle: biology

Explore how Antarctic plants and animals are adapted to life in a polar environment. Look at species descriptions of animals such as penguins, whales and krill. Examine specific adaptations to the environment such as the dense feathers and layers of body fat of the emperor penguin. Compare feeding pathways within a food ...

Interactive resource

Environmental evaluation project: frog pond habitat

Explore why a frog population is declining. Look at changes in the pond over time: water quality, habitat loss and predation by introduced species. Build a food web for the pond. Model population interactions. Identify which species have the greatest impact on the frog. Build a report using evidence you have collected to ...

Interactive Resource

NSW ecosystems on show

This resource highlights fifteen natural ecosystems found in New South Wales. Each resource has been designed for students investigating ecosystem types in NSW, providing a greater understanding of their location, function, how they are impacted by human activity and how schools and communities can work to protect them. ...

Interactive resource

Flow of energy: pond

Use this tool to create a diagram that shows the flow of energy within a pond ecosystem. Select and position appropriate images, symbols, lines and text boxes to build an energy diagram. You can use the images from the tool or import your own images.

Assessment resource

Dugong dilemma: assessment

Assess your ability to test a hypothesis by investigating data and using scientific models. Select likely hypotheses for the decrease in a dugong population. Investigate the living things present in a coastal marine habitat, and use a food web to understand the relationships between different animals. Model the effects ...

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Ecological effects of bushfires

Did you know that Australia is the most flammable continent on Earth? Watch this clip to discover how bushfires impact natural ecosystems, and how the increasing global threat of bushfires may affect Australia. Australian scientists explain the ecological consequences of fire and a US expert describes his concerns for the future.

Interactive resource

Ecosystem balance

Explore how plants and animals interact in three Tasmanian ecosystems: a dry forest, rainforest and seaweed community. Look at species descriptions of plants and animals that live there. Increase or decrease the population of a species and compare the effects on other species within the ecosystem.

Moving Image

Deep ocean volcanoes

This is a video resource about the discovery of the deepest ocean volcano to date - the West Mata submarine volcano between Samoa, Fiji and Tonga - which is more than 1000 metres beneath the ocean surface. The video features footage of the erupting volcano, with lava believed to be among the hottest on Earth, and shows ...

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Energy: student guide

This is a student guide that explores many aspects of energy including the different forms of energy, the energy of moving things, electricity, energy in food, and sources of energy used by modern societies. It is divided into different parts with each containing information, images and diagrams, hands-on inquiry activities, ...

Interactive resource

Eco forest

Take on the role of forest manager. Learn about the biodiversity of the forest and the animals that live there. Select different logging methods for three 50-year cycles. For example, you can choose to clear-fell or retention harvest old-growth forests, regrowth forests, or combinations of the two. Choose the best method ...

Interactive resource

Flow of energy: seagrass

Use this tool to create a diagram that shows the flow of energy within a seagrass ecosystem. Select and position appropriate items of a food chain, symbols, lines and text boxes to build an energy diagram. You can use the images from the tool or import your own images.

Interactive Resource

Sites2See: What is climate change?

A page to address the question What is climate change? from the definition, to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as the foremost authority, and selected links covering aspects of that question with games, graphics, activities, information sites, resource packs and video interviews, for teachers and students. ...

Interactive Resource

Ecosystems and change: student digital activities

This is a set of student digital activities about systems: body systems and ecosystems. It contains a rich array of interactive activities, film clips and notebook questions to assist learning, and is part of a comprehensive curriculum resource that covers Biological sciences content descriptions in year 9 of the science ...

Teacher resource

Wild backyards: plan a study

This is a web page produced by the Queensland Museum about how to plan a biodiversity assessment within a school or local community, which includes an embedded 4-minute introductory video. The video is supported by links to a transcript of the video, a Backyard explorer leader's guide, a Backyard explorer user's guide, ...

Interactive resource

Environmental field project: frog pond habitat

Find out how animals use a pond habitat in different ways. Answer a short quiz about how organisms are adapted to their environment. Explore a pond and discover four sub-habitats. Capture specimens for study by choosing collection tools which don't hurt the animals or damage the study area. Collect animals from a grassy ...

Interactive resource

The Circle: ornithologist

Look at the structure and function of emperor penguins and Adelie penguins. Find out about breeding cycles and behaviour such as 'huddling' within a penguin colony. Explore how biologists study penguins in Antarctica. Examine a remote field station and data logging methods. This learning object is one in a series of eight ...

Moving Image

Restoring coral reefs

This is a video resource describing efforts by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to restore coral reefs damaged by pollution, disease, climate change and ship groundings in the Caribbean and Florida Keys. The video explains that the natural building blocks of reefs in these areas are staghorn and ...

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Coastal ecosystems

This Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) resource about Great Barrier Reef (GBR) coastal ecosystems looks at the 14 coastal ecosystems that provide a range of ecological services to support the Reef. It covers GBR coastal ecosystem loss, the pressures faced by these ecosystems, including population growth ...

Interactive resource

The Circle: Antarctic issues

Explore how human activities impact on the Antarctic ecosystem. Compare opinions on climate change, the ozone hole and whaling. This learning object is one in a series of eight learning objects.