Common Core Basics

CHAPTER 3

All life depends on healthy ecosystems that can provide the resources organisms depend on for survival, including clean water, air, and soil, as well as food. Biodiversity is also an important element in maintaining healthy ecosystems. The greater Earth’s biodiversity, or abundance of different kinds of life on Earth, the more resources, opportunities for medical discoveries, and adaptive responses to natural disasters and human activities.

In this chapter you will learn about:

  • arrow_drop_downEcosystems

    An ecosystem is a community of living things adapted to a specific environment. There are a variety of ecosystems on land and in water. Biomes are major ecological communities, identified by where they exist geographically. This lesson discusses the organization of ecosystems and describes the biomes of the world.

    Read more
  • arrow_drop_downCarrying Capacity

    Imagine inviting friends to lunch. You prepare enough food and set the table for eight people. Your planned lunch will satisfy the needs of eight people in all. But then each of your friends invites another friend. You don't have enough resources to feed or seat them all. You might say that your lunch community has exceeded its carrying capacity. This lesson talks about carrying capacity, or the environmental limitations that determine how many organisms an ecosystem can support.

    Read more
  • arrow_drop_downSymbiosis

    The prefix 'sym' means 'together,' and the prefix 'bio' means 'life.' As organisms on Earth, we live together with other organisms. But some organisms have special ways of living together. This lesson introduces you to different kinds of symbiotic relationships.

    Read more
  • arrow_drop_downDisruption

    Both nature and human activity can lead to environmental disturbances and major disruptions. Fires and floods can alter ecosystems in a short time. So can the introduction of exotic or non-native species to an ecosystem, where the species competes for the same resources as native species. In some cases, humans remove ecosystems entirely to create city structures. This lesson introduces you to natural and unnatural ecological disruptions.

    Read more
  • arrow_drop_downEnvironmental Issues

    Controlling pollution and keeping Earth's environment habitable are important issues for everyone. In this lesson, you will learn how human activities affect the environment and investigate the difference between renewable and nonrenewable resources.

    Read more

Goal Setting

In the particular geographical location in which you live, you may be aware of clues to the original ecosystem. Explore your environment, or use print and online resources to learn more about the ecosystem that existed before the place in which you live was established. Describe the original ecosystem. Then describe how the ecosystem has been altered.

  1. The original ecosystem:
  2. Alterations to the ecosystem:
Source not available