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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

Interactive

SmartGraphs - African Lions: Modeling Populations - iTunes app

Investigate population modelling by studying the renowned African lions of the Ngorongoro Crater including real-life scientific data. Analyse graphs and data to answer questions and make predictions about changes in the lion population and other population models. Find out about important ecological and modelling concepts. ...

Video

Watering the largest river red gum forest

This nine minute video explores the importance of environmental flows to maintain the ecological health of the Barmah-Millewa Forest in the Murray Darling Basin. This forest is a RAMSAR site and an icon site of the Living Murray with great social, economic, cultural, environmental and spiritual significance. While the forest ...

Online

Interdependence in the environment

Within an ecosystem there are interdependent relationships between the species of that environment which are recognised and understood in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ecological knowledge and practices. This classroom activity provides students with the opportunity to develop science understanding of the interdependencies ...

Text

The Invisible War: A tale on two scales

The Invisible War is a graphic novel set on the Western Front in 1916. The novel is an interdisciplinary text that includes a large science-history reference section (hyper-linked within the novel). Told from two points of view – human and microbial – the story describes a deadly infection by dysentery-causing Shigella ...

Interactive

Chicken farming in the living world: Stage 5

Chickens are fascinating animals and provide students with an interesting subject matter to discuss the many aspects of our living world. This interactive course for students explores the question 'How does the closed system of a chicken meat farm model the interactions, flow of energy and the cycling of matter through ...

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

Party locusts

This 8 minute video segment from Catalyst is an excellent example of animal behaviour of locusts as a successful adaptation and how understanding the behaviour can potentially help reduce the damage they cause.

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

Turtles

This 7 minute video segment from Catalyst describes the risk factors that impact on turtle survival. Protecting the future of turtle populations on the Queensland coast has been the life's work of Col Limpus for the past 40 years. His efforts have included research and reducing predation from foxes and entrapment in trawler nets.

Interactive

Science Talk 2007: Martina Doblin

An interview and lab tour with Dr Martina Doblin, a phytoplankton ecologist at UTS. Martina talks to students and their teacher from Concord High School about her work studying microscopic organisms such as the toxic algae that make up harmful algal blooms.

Text

Rainforest fruit power

This ABC In Depth feature article discusses human potential use rainforest fruit-bearing plants and the need to maintain biodiversity. Many biotic interactions that effect reproduction and dispersal are described. Issues about using seed banks to try to maintain biodiversity are discussed.

Video

Cloud seeding

This nine and a half minute video segment from Catalyst describes how researchers from Monash University have hard evidence that cloud seeding can produce good amounts of extra rainfall. Data collected over a long period of time has give hope to scientists and environmentalists who are trying to reduce the impacts of droughts ...

Interactive

Murray-Darling Basin Quiz

This is a ten question multiple choice quiz on student understanding of issues specific to the Murray-Darling Basin, but are examples of common Australian environmental problems resulting from human activities. This is a non-threatening activity that provides excellent explanations as feedback.

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.

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.

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

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.

Video

Dr Ove Goegh-Guldberg

This 5 minute video segment from Catalyst highlights the vulnerability of some of our ecosystems and the way abiotic factors can have a dramatic effect. It also exemplifies the difficult process of having new scientific ideas accepted.

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

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 ...