The world is a diverse place. There are over 400,000 species of beetles, 8,000 species of reptiles and an estimated 1.5 million different species that populate this planet. The number of species that live in a particular area is a measure of its biodiversity. Diverse ecosystems tend to be healthier and more stable than less diverse systems. In this program, students will conduct a short biophysical inventory in two different areas to examine the variety of life. Using field guides and dichotomous keys, they will attempt to identify as many species as possible and they will collectively make a determination which area is the most diverse.
Season Availability: Fall, Spring
Grade 6 : Science Curriculum Links *
Understanding Life Systems – Biodiversity
1. assess human impacts on biodiversity, and identify ways of preserving biodiversity;
2. investigate the characteristics of living things, and classify diverse organisms according to specific characteristics;
3. demonstrate an understanding of biodiversity, its contributions to the stability of natural systems, and its benefits to humans.
1.2 assess the benefits that human societies derive from biodiversity
2.1 follow established safety procedures for outdoor activities and field work
2.2 investigate the organisms found in a specific habitat and classify them according to a classification system
2.4 use appropriate science and technology vocabulary, including classification, biodiversity, natural community, interrelationships, vertebrate, invertebrate, stability, characteristics, and organism, in oral and written communication
3.2 demonstrate an understanding of biodiversity as the variety of life on earth, including variety within each species of plant and animal, among species of plants and animals in communities, and among communities and the
3.3 describe ways in which biodiversity within species is important for maintaining the resilience of those species (e.g., because of genetic differences, not all
3.4 describe ways in which biodiversity within and among communities is important for maintaining the resilience of these communities
Grade 9 : Science Curriculum Links
Science Academic – Biology: Sustainable Ecosystems
B3. demonstrate an understanding of the dynamic nature of ecosystems, particularly in terms of ecological balance and the impact of human activity on the sustainability of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.
B2.1 use appropriate terminology related to sustainable ecosystems, including, but not limited to: bioaccumulation, biosphere, diversity, ecosystem, equilibrium, sustainability, sustainable use, protection, and watershed
B2.2 interpret qualitative and quantitative data from undisturbed and disturbed ecosystems (terrestrial and/or aquatic), communicate the results graphically, and, extrapolating from the data, explain the importance of biodiversity for all sustainable ecosystems
B3.3 describe the limiting factors of ecosystems (e.g., nutrients, space, water, energy, predators), and explain how these factors affect the carrying capacity of an ecosystem (e.g., the effect of an increase in the moose population on the wolf population in the same ecosystem)
Science Applied – Biology: Sustainable Ecosystems and Human Activity
B3. demonstrate an understanding of characteristics of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, the interdependence within and between ecosystems, and the impact humans have on the sustainability of these ecosystems.
B2.1 use appropriate terminology related to sustainable ecosystems and human activity, including, but not limited to: biodiversity, biotic, ecosystem, equilibrium, species diversity, sustainability, and watershed
B2.2 investigate the characteristics and interactions of biotic and abiotic components of a terrestrial or aquatic ecosystem, and describe the importance of these components in a sustainable ecosystem
B3.2 describe the interdependence of the components within a terrestrial and an aquatic ecosystem, and explain how the components of both systems work together to ensure the sustainability of a larger ecosystem
B3.4 identify the major limiting factors of ecosystems (e.g., nutrients, space, water, predators), and explain how these factors are related to the carrying capacity of an ecosystem
Grade 11: Science Curriculum Links
Biology University Preparation – Diversity of Living Things
B1. analyse the effects of various human activities on the diversity of living things;
B2. investigate, through laboratory and/or field activities or through simulations, the principles of scientific classification, using appropriate sampling and classification techniques;
B3. demonstrate an understanding of the diversity of living organisms in terms of the principles of taxonomy and phylogeny.
B2.1 use appropriate terminology related to biodiversity, including, but not limited to: genetic diversity, species diversity, structural diversity, protists, bacteria, fungi, binomial nomenclature, and morphology
B2.2 classify, and draw biological diagrams of, representative organisms from each of the kingdoms according to their unifying and distinguishing anatomical and physiological characteristics
B2.3 use proper sampling techniques to collect various organisms from a marsh, pond, field, or other ecosystem, and classify the organisms according to the principles of taxonomy
B2.4 create and apply a dichotomous key to identify and classify organisms from each of the kingdoms
B3.1 explain the fundamental principles of taxonomy and phylogeny by defining concepts of taxonomic rank and relationship, such as genus, species, and taxon
B3.5 explain why biodiversity is important to maintaining viable ecosystems