Students draw on existing knowledge of their own local area and expand on their understanding of biological concepts that can be identified through careful analysis of biotic and abiotic factors.
Students gain field experience of both an aquatic and terrestrial ecosystem as they:
observe and measure some of the abiotic parameters to which the main plant and animal species are adapted
study some of the trophic, competitive and symbiotic interactions between organisms.
Students gain information and analyse their findings in order to report on aspects of the local environment that have been affected by people and propose realistic solutions to the problems that exist.
Gather information from first hand observations to construct food chains and food webs
Explain trophic interactions between organisms in an ecosystem using food chains and food webs
Describe the role of decomposers in ecosystems
Measure a number of abiotic factors to compare the mangrove and saltmarsh environments
Use quadrats to estimate the size of a population in an ecosystem
Collect, analyse and present data to describe the distribution of species whose abundance has been estimated
Consider the accuracy of population estimation strategies
Identify factors determining the distribution and abundance of a species in each environment
Examine trends in population estimates for some plant and animal species within an ecosystem
Justify the use of different sampling techniques to make population estimates when total counts cannot be performed
Identify some adaptations of living things to factors in their environment
Identify and describe in detail adaptations of a plant and an animal from the local ecosystem
Analyse trends in a plant population using a transect
Identify examples of allelopathy, parasitism, mutualism and commensalism in an ecosystem and the role of organisms in each type of relationship.
Identify the impact of humans on the ecosystem studied.