Science - 2018-19
4.5 - Ecosystems
The student will investigate and understand how plants and animals, including humans, in an ecosystem interact with one another and with the nonliving components in the ecosystem. Key concepts include
a) plant and animal adaptations;
- distinguish between structural (physical) and behavioral adaptations Bloom's Level : Analyze
- investigate and infer the function of basic adaptations Bloom's Level : Analyze
- understand that adaptations allow an organism to succeed in a given environment Bloom's Level : Understand
- explain how different organisms use their unique adaptations to meet their needs Bloom's Level: Understand
b) organization of populations, communities, and ecosystems and how they interrelate;
- describe why certain communities exist in given habitats Bloom's Level : Understand
c) flow of energy through food webs;
- illustrate the food webs in a local area Bloom's Level : Apply
d) habitats and niches;
- compare and contrast the niches of several different organisms within the community Bloom's Level : Analyze
e) changes in an organism’s niche at various stages in its life cycle; and
- compare and contrast the differing ways an organism interacts with its surroundings at various stages of its life; specific examples include a frog and a butterfly Bloom's Level : Analyze)
f) influences of human activity on ecosystems.
- differentiate among positive and negative influences of human activity on ecosystems Bloom's Level : Analyze
Living things adapt to survive; living and nonliving things are interdependent.
UNDERSTANDING THE STANDARD
- Organisms have
structural adaptations or physical attributes that help them meet a life need.
- Organisms also
have behavioral adaptations, or certain types of activities they perform, which
help them meet a life need.
- All the organisms
of the same species that live in the same place at the same time are a
- Populations of
species that live in the same place at the same time together make up a community.
- The organization
of communities is based on the utilization of the energy from the sun within a
given ecosystem. The greatest amount of energy in a community is in the
- Within a
community, organisms are dependent on the survival of other organisms. Energy
is passed from one organism to another.
- All the
populations and the nonliving components in an environment that interact with
each other form an ecosystem.
- The sun’s energy
cycles through ecosystems from producers through consumers and back into the
nutrient pool through decomposers.
- A habitat is the
place or kind of place in which an animal or plant naturally lives. An organism’s habitat provides food,
water, shelter, and space. The size of the habitat depends on the organism’s
- A niche is the
function that an organism performs in the food web of that community. A niche
also includes everything else the organism does and needs in its environment.
No two types of organisms occupy exactly the same niche in a community.
- The organization
of a community is defined by the interrelated niches within it.
- During its life
cycle, an organism’s role in the community — its niche — may change. For
example, what an animal eats, what eats it, and other relationships will
- Humans can have a
major impact on ecosystems.
· How is energy transferred through food webs?
· In what ways do living things change over time?
· How are life cycles and niches related?
· Have humans influenced ecosystems and, if so, how?
· How do living things adapt to survive?
In order to meet this standard, it is expected that students will
between structural (physical) and behavioral adaptations.
- investigate and infer the function of basic adaptations.
- understand that adaptations allow an organism to succeed in a given environment.
- explain how
different organisms use their unique adaptations to meet their needs.
- describe why
certain communities exist in given habitats.
- illustrate the
food webs in a local area.
- compare and
contrast the niches of several different organisms within the community.
- compare and
contrast the differing ways an organism interacts with its surroundings at
various stages of its life cycle. Specific examples include a frog and a
- differentiate among positive and negative
influences of human activity on ecosystems.
adaptations - the ways we change in order to survive
behavioral adaptations - types of activities organisms perform which help them meet a life needs; migration, knowing which berries are the tastiest, nest building,
butterfly - undergo a complete metamorphosis which includes: egg, larva (caterpillar), pupa (chrysalis), adult
community - populations of different species that live in the same pace at the same time
ecosystem - all the populations and the non-living components in an environment that interact with each other
environment - the air, water, minerals, organisms and all other factors surrounding and affecting an organism
food chain - the sequence of transfers of energy in the form of food from organisms to organism
food web - many interlocking food chains
frog - amphibian which undergoes a change from tadpole (living in water with gills), tadpole with 2 legs, tadpole with 4 legs, adult frog (lives on land and has lungs)
habitat - an organism's home
interaction - the relationship between species (organisms) that live together in a community
interdependence - how plants and animals rely and depend on one another in a community
life cycle - series of changes in the life of an organism
negative human influences - pesticides, water and air pollution, deforestation, and habitat destruction are examples of how humans negatively impact environments
niche - the function/ role that an organisms performs in the community it inhabits; what it eats, where it lives, and what preys on it
organism - an individual animal or plant
population - all the organisms of the same species that live in the same place at the same time
positive human influences - recycling, reusing, conserving resources are ways humans can positively affect the environment
structural adaptations - physical attributes which help living things obtain food, survive harsh weather and meet life needs ; thicker fur, bigger ears night vision are examples; mimicry