Standards

Standards

1. Matter tends to be cycled within an ecosystem, while energy is transformed and eventually exits an ecosystem
  1. Analyze how energy flows through trophic levels (DOK 1-2)
  2. Evaluate the potential ecological impacts of a plant-based or meat-based diet (DOK 2)
  3. Analyze and interpret data from experiments on ecosystems where matter such as fertilizer has been added or withdrawn such as through drought (DOK 1-3)
  4. Develop, communicate, and justify an evidence-based scientific explanation showing how ecosystems follow the laws of conservation of matter and energy (DOK 1-3)
  5. Define and distinguish between matter and energy, and how they are cycled or lost through life processes (DOK 1-2)
  6. Describe how carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and water cycles work (DOK 1)
  7. Use computer simulations to analyze how energy flows through trophic levels (DOK 1-2)

2. The size and persistence of populations depend on their interactions with each other and on the abiotic factors in an ecosystem
  1. Analyze and interpret data about the impact of removing keystone species from an ecosystem or introducing non-native species into an ecosystem (DOK 1-3)
  2. Describe or evaluate communities in terms of primary and secondary succession as they progress over time (DOK 1-2)
  3. Evaluate data and assumptions regarding different scenarios for future human population growth and their projected consequences (DOK 1-3)
  4. Examine, evaluate, question, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media to investigate ecosystem interactions (DOK 1-2)
Inquiry Questions
  1. How does a change in abiotic factors influence the stability or progression of an ecosystem?
  2. What happens when the cycling of matter in ecosystems is disrupted?
  3. What energy transformations occur in ecosystems?
  4. How does the process of burning carbon-rich fossil fuels compare to the oxidation of carbon biomolecules in cells?
  5. How do keystone species maintain balance in ecosystems?
  6. How does the introduction of a non-native species influence the balance of an ecosystem?
  7. How is the succession of local organisms altered in an area that is disturbed or destroyed?
Relevance and Application
  1. When the matter or energy flow in an ecosystem is disturbed, there are measurable effects such as the eutrophication of water.
  2. Matter and energy are cycled in natural systems such as wetlands in both similar and different ways than in human-managed systems such as waste water treatment plants.
  3. Earth's carrying capacity is limited, and as the human population grows, we must find ways to increase the production of resources all people need to live.
  4. The extraction of resources by humans impacts nature ecosystems.

Unit 7-Ecology Links