Science - 2018-19

LS.9 - Adaptations of Organisms

The student will investigate and understand how organisms adapt to biotic and abiotic factors in an ecosystem. Key concepts include

a) differences between ecosystems and biomes;

b) characteristics of land, marine, and freshwater ecosystems; and

c) adaptations that enable organisms to survive within a specific ecosystem.

Bloom's Levels:  Analyze; Understand

Adopted: 2010


  • Ecosystems are composed of biotic and abiotic and are complex, interconnected systems.
  • Plants and animals, including humans, interact with and depend on each other and their environment to satisfy their basic needs.

  • I can pack the appropriate clothing and cookware for a trip to the tundra or the tropical rainforest.
  • I can describe the characteristics that allow animals to live in Virginia, where we have both hot and cold weather.


  • The living organisms within a specific area and their physical environment define an ecosystem.
  • Characteristics of land, marine, and freshwater ecosystems vary with respect to biotic and abiotic factors. 
  • The major terrestrial ecosystems are classified into units called biomes — large regions characterized by certain conditions, including a range of climate and ecological communities adapted to those conditions.
  • Organisms have specific structures, functions, and behaviors that enable them to survive the biotic and abiotic conditions of the particular ecosystem in which they live.
  • Organisms possess adaptations to both biotic and abiotic factors in their ecosystem that increase their chance of survival.


In order to meet this standard, it is expected that students will

a)  differentiate between ecosystems and biomes.

b)  recognize and give examples of major biomes: desert, forest, grassland, and tundra.

compare and contrast the biotic and abiotic characteristics of land, marine, and freshwater ecosystems.

c)  analyze and describe how specific adaptations enable organisms to survive in a particular ecosystem.

a, b, c)design an investigation from a testable question related to how specific adaptations of organisms allow them to survive in the presence of the biotic and abiotic factors in an ecosystem. The investigation may be a complete experimental design or may focus on systematic observation, description, measurement, and/or data collection and analysis. 


ecosystem, biome, climate, biotic factors, abiotic factors, adaptations, tundra, desert, grassland, rainforest, deciduous forest, coniferous forest (taiga)

Updated: Jun 29, 2018