Biology 46

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Biological Diversity

Topic (46) Evaluate information about environmental conditions affect trait distribution. (HS-LS4-5).

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.


Day 1 – Introduction
Day 2 – Virtual Textbook

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

Information summarized from (full article).

The tropical rainforest biome is an ecosystem that covers about 7% of the Earth’s surface. They are found all over the world. Most of these are in South America. More specifically, they are  in Brazil. (view a map). The weather in the tropical rainforest is rainy year round – day and night.

Rainforests are important for several reasons. Water they produce is evaporated and then used as rain in other areas. They have hundreds of different types of trees living there – and there are over 2,500 different vine species. Some of the vines are as thick as the circumference of a human being.

Tropical rainforests are one of the oldest biomes on Earth and therefore have a great variety of animals living there. About half of all known species of plants and animals live in the tropical rainforest.

  • Position A. The Brazilian tropical rainforest is so important that the world community should invest and help preserve this natural resource.
  • Position B. The Brazilian tropical rainforest should be maintained and protected (or, not protected) by the Brazilian people and their government only.

Instructor Resources

Standard Daily Material
  • Day 1 – Standard material – introduction day
  • Day 2 – Standard material – reading day
  • Day 3 – Standard material – make a presentation
  • Day 4 – Standard material – give a presentation
  • Extra! – Enrichment and remediation options
Other Topic Specific Resources
  • cK-12 Adaptation & evolution of populations
  • LS46 Biodiversity (tnsp)
  • LS46 Energy in food (tnsp)
  • LS46 Enzyme chemical reactions (tns)
  • LS46 Traveling blue genes (tns)

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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