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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

Disease threatens fish

Imagine what would happen if a deadly fish disease found its way into Australia's biggest river system. Watch this clip to learn more about a disease threatening the ecology of the Murray-Darling River. Scientist, Professor Richard Whittington, explains that the disease could be the final straw for an endangered Australian ...

Video

Managing insect pests with biological controls

How can integrated pest management (IPM) reduce the use of toxic chemical pesticides? See how natural predators of insect pests, called biological controls, are used in agriculture. Find out the kinds of tests they have to be put through.

Video

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

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. ...

Video

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 ...

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 ...

Video

How climate change can affect turtle population

Did you know that the temperature of some reptile eggs can affect the sex of the hatchlings? For turtles, if the sand where eggs are buried is hotter than 29 degrees Celsius, the hatchlings are likely to be female. Based on this, how might climate change affect the world's turtle population?

Video

Keeping up with carbon

What is the carbon cycle and how does it affect climate? Find out in this fascinating clip from NASA, produced to celebrate Earth Science Week 2009.

Video

Sea Urchins

This 7 minute video segment from Catalyst describes an excellent example of how biologists have worked to investigate and solve a problem of an invading species of sea urchin that was devastating a marine ecosystem. The scientific approach to develop a biological control needed to rely on technologies such as radio tracking ...

Video

Climate Seals

This five and a half minute video segment form Catalyst outlines how scientist are utilising two species of seals to obtain temperature and salinity profiles from below the ice. This is helping scientists to find answers to questions about ocean circulation that cannot be addressed by robotic sensors.

Video

Giant Cuttlefish

This 12 minute video segment from Catalyst outlines the fascinating and unique features of the giant cuttlefish and its mass breeding at Point Lowly. Then it explains how scientists have determined the vulnerability of this species- the fact that the eggs are sensitive to high levels of salinity and the fact that they die ...

Interactive

Studying Habitats

Students use this resource consisting of four slides with diagrams, written explanation and voice-over to understand the type of observations and measurements that need to be made when studying an ecosystem. There is a two-question quiz and a summary slide.

Audio

Chemicals on the Great Barrier Reef

This program deals with a range of human impacts on the Great Barrier Reef. Herbicides from land runoff have been traced to algae and sea grasses in river mouths and coastal zones along the Great Barrier Reef. Effects include retardation of photosynthesis and growth of corals. Other pressures on the reef include high water ...

Video

Water recycling

This 11 minute video segment from Catalyst provides an excellent explanation of the processes involved in recycling sewage for an urban water supply. It also provides a range of opinions and concerns in an excellent debate on the topic.

Video

The Rise of Slime

This 12 minute video segment from Catalyst reports that scientists have observed the rise of giant jelly fish which are choking marine life in waters near Japan. It's an economical catastrophe bringing the fishing industry to its knees. An excellent demonstration of the complexity of ecosystems and how a range of human ...

Video

Rob Harcourt

This 6 minute video segment from Catalyst highlights a number of diverse investigations that are part of the work of a marine biologist. It uses an incredible collection of photographs to inform and inspire people about conservation.

Video

Sea Mounts

This 5 minute video segment from Catalyst shows strange sea creatures and bizarre underwater extinct volcanoes that are now conserved in a marine reserve off the south coast of Tasmania. Cameras that withstand depths to 2000 metres have revealed great biodiversity and some unexpected organisms and adaptations.

Interactive

Is there a salty fresh fruit?

All of us have tasted fresh fruits: sweet oranges, bitter gourds, sour plums. But is there a salty fresh fruit? In exploring the answer to this question, you will learn about fruit structure, their role and evolution.

Interactive

FAO forestry: app for iPad

This is an iPhone app that provides information and facts relating to the world's forests. It includes photos, videos, an interactive map showing world forest data, and links to related publications. The app has a number of separate topic headings including Communities and livelihoods, Forest and energy, Climate change, ...

Interactive

Sustainable seafood guide: app for iPad

This app provides an assessment of the sustainability of a wide range of seafood species commonly consumed in Australia. It includes information about farming and fishing techniques, issues relating to ecosystems and endangered species, and a ranking system for canned tuna. This app contains two guides: Sustainable seafood ...