Outcomes for Yr 7 Science

 

Changing Islands : Investigating Natural and Human Impacts on an Australian Ecosystem

St Bees Island, Queensland – A Case Study

 

 Unit Description

An ecosystem is a series of interactions between living and non-living features within it. Living things have become adapted to living in their particular environment. Some adaptations and their advantages in Australian ecosystems are explored. The interactions between living things and between living and non-living things in the environment need to be understood in order to reduce negative human impacts on the ecosystems.

Outcomes

Interactions between the biotic features of an environment.

  • Construct and interpret food chains and food webs, including examples from Australian ecosystems. (LW5a)
  • Explain how the features of some Australian plants and animals are adaptations for survival and reproduction in their environment. (LW1f)

Human impact on ecosystems and human endeavour towards conservation.

  • Predict how human activities can affect interactions in food chains and food webs, including examples from Australian land or marine ecosystems. (LW5d) CR&CR
  • Describe how scientific knowledge has influenced the development of practices in agriculture, eg animal husbandry or crop cultivation to improve yields and sustainability, or the effect of plant-cloning techniques in horticulture. (LW5f)
  • Explain, using examples, how scientific evidence and/or technological developments contribute to developing solutions to manage the impact of natural events on Australian ecosystems. (LW5e)

Investigating Natural and Human Impacts on an Australian Ecosystem

St Bees Island, Queensland – A Case Study

  1.  

1.   Location and Habitat

a) Identify the location of St Bees Island on a map.

                       Map Australia          Map Queensland

 

     b) Describe characteristics / features of the island that make it unique.

 

2.   Interactions between the biotic features of an Environment

a) Over the week record the organisms identified on the island in May 2017.

For each organism, identify the kingdom in which it belongs.

      b)  Students can work as a class to create a food web. They can identify the food chains within the web. Students can also identify the carnivores,    

           herbivores and omnivores within the web. 

 

3.    Human Impact on Ecosystems and Human Endeavour Towards Conservation

       a) List how the following may have an effect on organisms on the island

-          natural events (refer to sheet Managing Impacts of Natural Events)

-          human activities (refer to sheet Human Impact on Ecosystems)

    1. b)  Watch the video on Cyclone Debbie and describe the effects of this severe weather events on the abundance (number) and distribution (location) of organisms on the island.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKTfLAaTomM

Cyclone Debbie smashes into Queensland coast   ABC News (Australia)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akIOcRQSYO0

  

4.    Consequences of Human Activities on Ecosystems

a)  Describe the effects of human activities on the abundance (number) and distribution (location) of organisms on the island.

b)   Ongoing research is being conducted on the island. It is important for data to be collected over long periods of time to establish if changes to patterns or relationships within ecosystems occur. Scientific evidence together with the aid of new forms of technology can help to confirm or refute these relationships. Identify some of the techniques used to collect data on the island. (Refer to sheet The Role of Scientists in Contributing to Conservation of Ecosystems for the future).

c)   Explain, using examples, how scientific evidence can be used to develop solutions to manage the impact of the natural events (and human activities) on the island’s ecosystem.

 

5.    Introduced Species – Koalas : A Case Study

       a)  Koalas were introduced to the island from the mainland in …………………….. Watch the video to address the questions below.

       Unravelling the mystery of koalas on St Bees Island

         http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/topics/wildlife/2015/08/unravelling-the-mystery-of-koalas-on-st-bees-island

  b)    Research to identify 5 physical or behavioural adaptations of koalas that enable them to survive and thrive in Australia.