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Biological Diversity

Biodiversity generally refers to the variety and variability of life on Earth. Biodiversity typically measures variation at the genetic, the species, and the ecosystem level. Terrestrial (land) biodiversity tends to be greater near the equator, which seems to be the result of the warm climate. Biodiversity is not distributed evenly on Earth, and is richest in the tropics. Since life began on Earth, five major mass extinctions and several minor events have led to large and sudden drops in biodiversity. The period since the emergence of humans has displayed an ongoing biodiversity reduction and an accompanying loss of genetic diversity.

Lesson 1 (or “Day 1”) Material
Lesson 2 (or “Day 2”) Material
Lesson 3 (or “Day 3”) Material
Lesson 4 (or “Day 4”) Material

4:45 The threat of invasive species – Jennifer Klos

7:51 What is biodiversity and why is it important?

12:09 Population Ecology


Compare Contrast and Debate


Resources Documents and Links

Special Notes and Notices

Instructor Emphasis:

  • Science & Engineering Practice: Construct explanations and design solutions.
  • Cross-Cutting Concept: Scale, Proportion, and Quantity.

Emphasize HS-LS4-5  Synthesize, communicate, and evaluate the information that describes how changes in the environmental conditions can affect the distribution of traits in a population causing: 1) increases in the number of individuals of some species, 2) the emergence of new species over time, and 3) the extinction of other species.

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