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

BTN: Curbing the carp population

Find out why European carp fish are called 'river rabbits' in Australia. Listen to how they came to Australia and what makes them such a pest now.Discover how a local entrepreneur is exploiting the new resource while scientists are doing their best to cap the carp population explosion.

Video

Catalyst: Climate and bushfires in Australia

What can science tell us about the major cause of bushfires in Australia's past? How can it help us predict future bushfires? Two scientists discuss evidence related to bushfire regimes (bushfire patterns, types and intensity). Please note that this clip contains recent images of homes destroyed by fire that may disturb ...

Video

Catalyst: Coorong salinity

Imagine the mighty Murray River as it flows through South Australia and reaches the sea. Explore the consequences of drought and human activity while listening to Graham Phillips describe the effects of the Coorong's increasing salinity and the the associated threat to Adelaide's supply of fresh water.

Video

Four Corners: 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.

Video

ABC News: 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

Catalyst: 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

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 ...

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

Catalyst: 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.

Video

Catalyst: 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

Foreign Correspondent: 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 ...

Interactive

Science under the microscope

A student-focused mobile web application that tests students? knowledge of the NSW Science curriculum. It will reuse videos and other components of 2010 Murder under the Microscope (Shockwave on the Shoreline) to provide a series of clues that unfold as the student answers science questions correctly. After receiving all ...

Video

Dingo secrets

This 9 minute video segment from Catalyst shows a biologist is finding out about how a family of multi-coloured dingoes is challenging our very idea of these animals. Technology has been invaluable in learning how young dingoes are taught adult behaviour and survival behaviours of the pack.

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Treetop kangaroos

This ABC In Depth feature article includes everything you wanted or needed to know about tree kangaroos. This article describes their reproduction, classification, adaptations and issues relating to their conservation.

Video

Rabbit immunity

This 6 minute video segment from Catalyst covers a range of biological concepts associated with the history, impacts and methods of control of the introduced rabbit in Australia.

Interactive

Sites2See: Insects and Spiders

This page links to a range of materials from the Australian Museums' Bugwise program, with additional materials and activities, including a resource about invertebrates in freshwater.

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.

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 ...

Interactive

Habitats

Students use this resource consisting of four slides with diagrams, written explanation and voice-over to understand the relationship between habitat and ecosystem and important factors in some habitats. There is a two-question quiz and a summary slide.

Video

Catalyst: Megafauna fossils

Travel back in time in outback Australia and investigate the giant lumbering beasts of the past - the megafauna. Visit a fossil site in Cuddie Springs, New South Wales, where megafauna bones have been discovered. Explore the connection between Aboriginal peoples and megafauna, and theories for the extinction of Australia's ...