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Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem. (MS-LS2-1)
Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems. (MS-LS2-2)
Evaluate (using economic, social, and scientific considerations) competing design solutions (animal population management, forestry practices, water purification, nutrient recycling, soil erosion, etc.) for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services. (MS-LS2-5)
Concepts and Skills
* Power Standard Content
LS2.A: Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems
Organisms, and populations of organisms, are dependent on their environmental interactions both with other living things and with nonliving factors. (MS-LS2-1)
In any ecosystem, organisms and populations with similar requirements for food, water, oxygen, or other resources may compete with each other for limited resources, access to which consequently constrains their growth and reproduction. (MS-LS2-1)
Access to resources can impact growth of organisms and populations.(MS-LS2-1)
Predatory interactions may reduce the number of organisms or eliminate whole populations of organisms. Mutually beneficial interactions, in contrast, may become so interdependent that each organism requires the other for survival. Although the species involved in these competitive, predatory, and mutually beneficial interactions vary across ecosystems, the patterns of interactions of organisms with their environments, both living and nonliving, are shared. (MS-LS2-2)
LS2.B: Cycle of Matter and Energy Transfer in Ecosystems
Food webs are models that demonstrate how matter and energy is transferred between producers, consumers, and decomposers as the three groups interact within an ecosystem. Transfers of matter into and out of the physical environment occur at every level. Decomposers recycle nutrients from dead plant or animal matter back to the soil in terrestrial environments or to the water in aquatic environments. The atoms that make up the organisms in an ecosystem are cycled repeatedly between the living and nonliving parts of the ecosystem. (MS-LS2-3)
LS2.C: Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning, and Resilience
Ecosystems are dynamic in nature; their characteristics can vary over time. Disruptions to any physical or biological component of an ecosystem can lead to shifts in all its populations. (MS-LS2-4)
Biodiversity describes the variety of species found in Earth’s terrestrial and oceanic ecosystems. The completeness or integrity of an ecosystem’s biodiversity is often used as a measure of its health. (MS-LS2-5)
LS4.D: Biodiversity and Humans
Changes in biodiversity can influence humans’ resources, such as food, energy, and medicines, as well as ecosystem services that humans rely on—for example, water purification and recycling. (secondary to MS-LS2-5)
ETS1.B: Developing Possible Solutions
There are systematic processes for evaluating solutions with respect to how well they meet the criteria and constraints of a problem. (secondary to MS-LS2-5)
Critical Language (Science & Engineering Practices)
A student in sixth grade can demonstrate the ability to apply and comprehend critical language by constructing scientific explanations based on valid and reliable evidence obtained from sources (including students’ own experiments) about ecosystem relationships.
Changes in biodiversity can influence humans’ resources, such as food, energy, and medicines, as well as ecosystem services that humans rely on—for example, water purification and recycling (secondary to MS-LS2-5)
In every ecosystem, there are interdependent relationships that involve the transfer and transformation of energy and matter.
Factual Guiding Questions
How is energy transferred among organisms within an ecosystem?
What interactions occur between biotic and abiotic systems?
What are the factors in an environment that affect population density?
How are organisms interdependent with the environment?
What are some examples of energy transfer that occur within ecosystems?
Describe the flow of energy in food chains and webs within an ecosystem?
Conceptual Guiding Questions
What are the differences and similarities in competitive, predatory and mutually beneficial interactions across different ecosystems?
How does a system of living and nonliving things operate to meet the needs of the organisms in an ecosystem?
How do environmental factors threaten or enhance the survival of populations?
How do human factors threaten or enhance the survival of populations?
How can biodiversity be used to describe the health of an ecosystem?
Compare and contrast ecosystems and their interactions.
What happens if a key element of an ecosystem is removed or altered?
How do we evaluate (using economic, social, and scientific considerations) competing design solutions (animal population management, forestry practices, water purification, nutrient recycling, soil erosion, etc.) for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services?
What are the positive and negative impacts of a change to an ecosystem that can affect human lives? What can be done to encourage or prevent these changes? (root authentic learning to real problem: impact of decline of honey bee)