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Science / Year 9 / Science Understanding / Biological sciences

View on Australian Curriculum website Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority
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

Video

Ocean change affects symbiotic relationship

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Native plant seed bank

Did you know there is a special bank in which Australian native plant seeds are deposited? In this clip, Gardening Australia presenter, Angus Stewart visits the Australian Botanic Garden at Mount Annan to investigate the work of a seed bank. Find out about the process the scientists at the seed bank use to obtain and prepare ...

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Life lessons in a living classroom

Secondary school students are taking their lessons outside in a productive garden, and both students and environment are reaping the benefits. Explore this living classroom and find out how the kids are transforming the land and the land is transforming the kids. You might even be inspired to establish your very own productive ...

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Engineering clean rivers

Figuring out how to clean up contaminated rivers is a big challenge. It's also tricky to work out where the most contaminated parts of a river system are and whether its fish are safe to eat. Watch this video and learn how engineering has helped to solve these problems. Why do you think engineers looked to the bottom of ...

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Researching Tasmanian devils in the Tarkine

Did you know that the Tasmanian devil is the largest carnivorous marsupial in the world? Devils play a very important role in the ecosystems of the Tasmanian bushland. Can you find out what that role is? Join conservation biologist Channing Hughes as he traps and documents Tasmanian devils during the Tarkine BioBlitz event. ...

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Interconnectedness of land and sea

There are many ways in which land and sea are connected. Learn how the waste we produce on land has huge consequences on marine life and other animals that depend on the sea. How does this waste come back to impact us on land? Did you know phytoplankton is not only responsible for about 50 per cent of the air we breathe, ...

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Daisies describe an ecosystem

Ecosystems are affected by many factors including increasing temperatures, which many scientists believe threaten natural systems on Earth today. This creative clip uses a theoretical world of black and white daisies to show how changes to the natural reflectivity of a planet's surface impacts temperatures and populations. ...

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Earth's extremes sheds light on life on Mars

Join astrobiologist Louisa Preston as she explores extreme environments on Earth to better understand the potential for life on Mars. Find out what types of microscopic organisms survive in these hostile environments. Discover why Rovers sent to Mars are looking for evidence of carbon. What might be found at a site on Mars ...

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Siberian tigers

Imagine a world where the only place Siberian tigers lived was in captivity. Watch this clip to learn more about the natural habitat of Siberian tigers and the things that threaten their survival in the wild. Chinese scientists are breeding this endangered species in captivity and zoologist, Liu Dan, explains his hope that ...

Video

Protecting exposed lake beds during drought

Visit the Lower Lakes near the mouth of the Murray River in 2009. Step onto the dried-out lake floor and watch what the wind does to the sand. How can planting rye grass help to stop erosion and to control a toxic environment in the mud beneath the sand? Find out in this clip.

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Polar bear survival

Do you know what is threatening the survival of the world's largest land carnivore? Watch this clip of a polar bear as it moves across the Arctic ice, and find out about what is happening in its icy world. The World Wildlife Fund's Margaret Williams explains the feeding habits and adaptations of the polar bear, and identifies ...

Video

Southern Corroboree Frog release

Discover what scientists are doing to try to save the striking-looking Southern Corroboree Frog from extinction. Watch this clip to learn about this critically endangered Australian frog, including why it is threatened and how a frog-proof fence might help its survival.

Video

Try maintaining your shell in an acidic ocean!

The shell of the tiny marine snail called the pteropod is under attack from ocean acidification. See how research into this and the Southern Ocean circulation tells us about impacts of climate change. In this clip from 2010, find out about this research and the Southern Ocean Sentinel project focused on developing an early-warning ...

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Check the pH before jumping into this wetland!

Can you imagine a wetland so acidic that its pH levels are similar to the acid in a car battery? It's part of a problem that scientists call acid mud. In this clip from 2008, see how it forms and what scientists are doing to better understand this environmental disaster.

Video

Oceans are the great providers

Did you know that the world's oceans provide the oxygen for every second breath you take? While oceans represent the largest habitat on Earth, they remain relatively unexplored. What is clear is that the oceans play a major role in shaping life on this planet. Watch this clip and prepare to be amazed!

Video

Endangered Mala returned to natural habitat

Have you ever heard of the Australian marsupial called a Mala? Perhaps not, because this creature (also known as the Rufous Hare-wallaby), has been extinct in the wild for decades. Find out about a project to re-introduce the Mala into Uluru - Kata Tjuta National Park. Learn also about the significance of this marsupial ...

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Going to school on sardines

Why might scientists research sardines by sampling schools of these pelagic fish? In this clip, find out about the links between knowing reproduction rates of sardines, their population numbers and sustainable fishing.

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Plants and increased levels of carbon dioxide

We know that most plants use carbon dioxide to make their own food. So what might plants look like in 100 years if carbon dioxide levels continue to increase - will they become enormous and overtake our backyards? View the possible effects of changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide on plants and, in turn, humans and other animals.

Video

Quoll rescue

Discover what threatens a native Australian predator and how scientists are hoping to save it from extinction. This clip about quolls in the Northern Territory describes the causes of its decline and a rescue strategy to save it from extinction. The strategy has a surprising twist - it features the very thing that is threatening ...

Video

Waves supply nutrients to marine ecosystems

Dive through the marine kelp forests off Australia's western coast and discover how ocean waves help cycle nutrients to sustain the plants and kelp forests of marine ecosystems.