(5.9C) Changes in Ecosystems
The student is expected to predict the effects of changes in ecosystems caused by living organisms, including humans, such as the overpopulation of grazers or the building of highways.
Ecosystems provide the resources organisms need for survival. When there is an abundance of resources, the population of organisms can quickly grow. When an ecosystem is overpopulated resources can be overused and diminished. Students model population and environmental changes and predict the effects.
When an ecosystem is modified by adding built or artificial elements, organisms’ ability to find resources and meet their needs is often affected. Students predict how an added road or bridge affects their model environment.
Pollution is another way ecosystems can be changed and affect organisms within them. Students explore how nutrient pollution can change a pond.