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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. ...

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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 ...

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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.

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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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Declining forests of Giant Kelp

Imagine diving between giant kelp that reach more than 30 metres from the bottom of the ocean to the surface. The east coast of Tasmania is one of the few places in the world where these underwater forests exist. But how much longer will they survive? Watch this clip to find out why these magnificent ecosystems are disappearing ...

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Puzzling migration of eels and monarch butterflies

Scientists have many questions about the migratory habits of eels and monarch butterflies, and new research uncovers some of the secrets. Watch this clip to discover how satellite technology is helping to track eels. You'll also find out what organs are involved in helping monarch butterflies find their way. You will be ...

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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.

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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?

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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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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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Cells and energy

Cells are like chemical factories. Discover the different ways cells get energy to carry out their daily operations. Learn about the different types of metabolic processes inside cells, such as those that break down molecules to release energy and those that assemble building blocks to make more complex components.

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Will Australia have the last bees on earth?

Bee populations around the world have started vanishing, in a process known as colony collapse disorder. Scientists have many ideas about what causes colony collapse, including one possible culprit: the varroa mite. Australia is one of the last places on Earth unaffected by varroa. Could this mean that Australia could have ...

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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 ...

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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.

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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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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 ...

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Feverish activity stops dengue's spread

Why have the number of cases of dengue fever in Australia quadrupled in recent years? The disease is spread by mosquitoes, so will injecting the 'Wolbachia' bacterium into mosquitoes solve the problem? Follow the scientists on the case.