SC.912.L.17.4

Describe changes in ecosystems resulting from seasonal variations, climate change and succession.
General Information
Subject Area: Science
Grade: 912
Body of Knowledge: Life Science
Idea: Level 2: Basic Application of Skills & Concepts
Standard: Interdependence -

A. The distribution and abundance of organisms is determined by the interactions between organisms, and between organisms and the non-living environment.

B. Energy and nutrients move within and between biotic and abiotic components of ecosystems via physical, chemical and biological processes.

C. Human activities and natural events can have profound effects on populations, biodiversity and ecosystem processes.

Date Adopted or Revised: 02/08
Date of Last Rating: 05/08
Status: State Board Approved

Related Courses

This benchmark is part of these courses.
2000310: Biology 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 and beyond (current))
2000320: Biology 1 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 and beyond (current))
2000430: Biology Technology (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 and beyond (current))
2000370: Botany (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 and beyond (current))
2000380: Ecology (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 and beyond (current))
2001340: Environmental Science (Specifically in versions: 2015 and beyond (current))
2002400: Integrated Science 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 and beyond (current))
2002410: Integrated Science 1 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 and beyond (current))
2002450: Integrated Science 3 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 and beyond (current))
2000390: Limnology (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018 (course terminated))
2002500: Marine Science 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 and beyond (current))
2002510: Marine Science 1 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 and beyond (current))
2002520: Marine Science 2 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 and beyond (current))
2002530: Marine Science 2 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 and beyond (current))
2000800: Florida's Preinternational Baccalaureate Biology 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 and beyond (current))
7920015: Access Biology 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 and beyond (current))
7920025: Access Integrated Science 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 and beyond (current))
2000315: Biology 1 for Credit Recovery (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 and beyond (current))
2002405: Integrated Science 1 for Credit Recovery (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2020 (course terminated))
7920030: Fundamental Integrated Science 1 (Specifically in versions: 2013 - 2015, 2015 - 2017 (course terminated))
2001341: Environmental Science Honors (Specifically in versions: 2016 and beyond (current))
2001330: Meteorology Honors (Specifically in versions: 2016 - 2019, 2019 and beyond (current))

Related Access Points

Alternate version of this benchmark for students with significant cognitive disabilities.
SC.912.L.17.In.2: Identify that living things in an ecosystem are affected by changes in the environment, such as changes to the food supply, climate change, or the introduction of predators.
SC.912.L.17.Su.2: Recognize how animals and plants in an ecosystem may be affected by changes to the food supply or climate.
SC.912.L.17.Pa.2: Recognize what happens to plants and animals when they don’t get enough food or water.

Related Resources

Vetted resources educators can use to teach the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

Educational Software / Tool

What Is It Like Where You Live?:

This site offers an abundance of information on Earth's biomes (rainforest, tundra, taiga, desert, temperate, and grasslands), as well as marine and freshwater ecosystems. The site features relevant facts, pictures, maps, indigenous plants and animals, additional links, and much more.

This resource is a wonderful reference, not a lesson plan. Teachers will need to provide an objective and structure for student interaction with the website.

Type: Educational Software / Tool

Lesson Plans

Harmful Algal Blooms:

Harmful algal blooms are the result of bacteria and phytoplankton obtaining far too many nutrients from fertilizers, sewage, and other pollutants. This lesson explains the causes and effects of these blooms in depth, and students will consider solutions for reducing blooms around Florida. This lesson involves a classroom discussion of the costs and benefits involved in reducing harmful algal blooms, and how science can be used to inform policy.

Type: Lesson Plan

Ocean Acidification:

Climate change has a multitude of effects, one being the acidification of our oceans. This lesson explains why oceans acidify as human release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and describes the effects of mild pH change on the ocean’s inhabitants. Students perform three tasks related to the topic through a “Tic Tac Toe Choice Board.”

Type: Lesson Plan

Sea Level Rise:

Climate change has a multitude of effects, one being the increase in sea level. This lesson explains why sea levels are rising, explains the impacts on coastal communities, and explores some of the laws that could be making the situation worse. Students perform three tasks related to the topic through a “Tic Tac Toe Choice Board.”

Type: Lesson Plan

CO2: Find Out What It Means to You:

This BLOSSOMS lesson discusses Carbon Dioxide, and its impact on climate change. The main learning objective is for students to become more familiar with human production of Carbon Dioxide gas, as well as to gain an awareness of the potential for this gas to effect the temperature of Earth’s atmosphere. This lesson should take about an hour to complete. In order to complete the lesson, the teacher will need: printed copies of signs representing the different products and processes that take place in the carbon cycle (included), samples of matter that represent those products, handouts for the students to create a graphic of the carbon cycle (included) and graph paper or graphing software for students to create graphs. In the breaks of this BLOSSOMS lesson, students will be creating models of the carbon cycle as well as observing experiments and analyzing data from them. It is hoped that this lesson will familiarize students with ways in which carbon moves through our environment and provide them with some personal connection to the impact that an increased concentration of CO2 can have on air temperature. The goal is to spark their interest and hopefully to encourage them to ask and investigate more questions about the climate. 

Type: Lesson Plan

Loss of Sea Ice Leaves Polar Bears in the Cold:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text intended to support reading in the content area. The article showcases recent research into the declining Arctic sea ice and its effect on polar bear populations. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. Numerous options to extend the lesson are also included.

Type: Lesson Plan

Mutualistic Mussels:

In this lesson, students will read an article from the National Science Foundation that discusses how extended droughts have affected salt marsh ecosystems found in the Southeastern part of the United States. The article then describes the mutualistic relationship that was discovered between ribbed mussels and salt marsh grasses and how this relationship is helping the marshes survive and recover from the droughts. This lesson is designed to support reading in the content area. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

SuperMan(groves):

Students will study the effects of seasonal variations in climate (and corresponding events) on mangrove ecosystems and examine the ways that natural systems protect plant and animal populations.

Type: Lesson Plan

Sea Ice Analysis Algebra:

The changing climate is an important topic for both scientific analysis and worldly knowledge. This lesson uses data collected by the National Snow and Ice Data Center to create and use statistical analysis as a tool to evaluate the sea ice loss. Students will use technology to quickly generate graphs for each month looking for trends, patterns, or deviations over time.

Type: Lesson Plan

Penguins in Peril:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text from National Geographic designed to support reading in the content area. The article discusses research conducted on the status of the Adelie Penguin population in Antarctica and what might happen to this species by the end of the century. Using statistical models, researchers looked at past and current data and used future climate projections to determine the fate of the Adelie's habitat. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Where Did All the Cod Go?:

In this lesson plan, students will analyze an informational text intended to support reading in the content area. The article describes the effects of climate change on the Gulf of Maine and the cod population found there. Although quotas have been instituted to preserve the cod population, they have not been effective because of the unanticipated effects of global warming. The article explores possible solutions. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. Options to extend the lesson are also included.

Type: Lesson Plan

Sea Ice Analysis:

The changing climate is an important topic for both scientific analysis and worldly knowledge. This lesson uses data collected by the National Snow and Ice Data Center to create and use statistical analysis as a tool to evaluate the sea ice loss. Students will use technology to quickly generate graphs for each month looking for trends, patterns or deviations over time.

Type: Lesson Plan

Evolution and Natural Selection at the Top of the World :

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text addressing two issues, climate change and evolution. This informational text (designed to support reading in the content area) describes how the changing climate in the Arctic is contributing to evolutionary changing in populations of animals that live there. The lesson plan includes text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric along with ideas for extending the lesson.

Type: Lesson Plan

Major Meltdown: Colorado High Peaks Losing Glaciers:

This lesson plan is designed to support reading in the content area. In this lesson, students will read a text that describes the results of a long-term study of the changes in the crysophere on Niwot Ridge, which lies at the top of the Continental Divide in the Rocky Mountains. The text describes the ways in which the cryosphere has changed due to climate change, and it also describes some of the impacts on the ecosystem and explains how the researchers gathered their data. The lesson plan includes text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, sample answers, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Effect of Seasonal Variation, Due to Climate Change, on Grasslands:

In this lesson, students will examine how ecosystems change due to seasonal variations as they analyze an informational text explaining the process scientists used to collect data on daily changes in grasslands. Students will learn of the usefulness of this data in creating a model that allowed the scientists to predict how seasonal variation will change the grassland ecosystem. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. Numerous options to extend the lesson are also included.

Type: Lesson Plan

Welcome to the Dead Zone:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text that describes the results of a recent study that has found a link between past ocean warming and the onset of "dead zones" in the Pacific Ocean off Oregon and Washington. This informational text is designed to support reading in the content area. The lesson plan includes text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, sample answers, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Climate Change Calamity: The Arctic Ecosystem:

This resource includes a 5E lesson plan, a PowerPoint presentation on climate change, an interactive game, a student worksheet, and an engaging video link on the Arctic ecosystem.

Type: Lesson Plan

Changing Ecosytems:

Students will explore how climate change is already causing large changes in various ecosystems.

Type: Lesson Plan

Sea Turtle Sex and Climate Change:

In this lesson students will examine how changes in an ecosystem result from environmental factors specifically demonstrating the consequences of climate change on sea turtles. The lesson is in four parts: 1) a fact finding/research component; 2) a group discussion and student presentation; 3) a multi-media component; and 4) a laboratory activity.

Type: Lesson Plan

Exploring Florida Ecosystems:

Students explore the general definition of an ecosystem and reinforce the idea using ephemeral wetlands as a specific example. Students apply and share knowledge through presentations about specific Florida ecosystems.

Type: Lesson Plan

Coral Reefs Surviving Despite the Odds:

This lesson uses an article from the National Science Foundation to inform the reader about the surprising results of a study done on coral reefs in Palau. The article discusses the effects that ocean acidification normally has on coral reefs and then describes the unique situation encountered in Palau. Scientists discovered coral reefs thriving in waters with a lower pH than normal. The article discusses how scientists are unsure of why these coral reefs are thriving, but future studies could reveal the answers. This lesson is designed to support reading in the content area. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Part 1: Pond Life:

This lesson is designed for students to investigate familiar and unfamiliar ecosystems using Internet resources, to explore how various organisms satisfy their needs within their environments, and to study the kinds of relationships that exist between organisms within an environment.

Type: Lesson Plan

Original Student Tutorial

Changing with the Times: Variation within Ecosystems:

 Explore how environmental changes at different time scales affect living organisms within ecosystems.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Perspectives Video: Experts

Tree Rings Research to Inform Land Management Practices:

In this video, fire ecologist Monica Rother describes tree ring research and applications for land management.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Histograms Show Trends in Fisheries Data Over Time:

NOAA Fishery management relies on histograms to show patterns and trends over time of fishery data.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Perspectives Video: Teaching Idea

Ephemeral Wetlands Teaching Resources:

Learn about wetlands and how they meet the needs of various inhabitants. Learn more about how to learn more at Remote Footprints.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Teaching Idea

Professional Development

Yosemite Burning:

This tutorial is designed to help secondary science teachers learn how to integrate literacy skills within their curriculum. This tutorial focuses on evaluating the reasoning and evidence of an argumentative claim. The focus on literacy across content areas is designed to help students independently build knowledge in different disciplines through reading and writing.

Type: Professional Development

Text Resources

Polar Bears Across the Arctic Face Shorter Sea Ice Season:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Polar bears are among the animals most affected by the seasonal and year-to-year decline in Arctic sea ice, because they rely on ice for essential activities such as hunting, traveling, and breeding. A new research study has confirmed this finding.

Type: Text Resource

Antarctica Could Lose Most of Its Penguins to Climate Change:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article discusses the research conducted on the status of the Adelie penguin population and what might happen to it by the end of the century. Using statistical models, researchers looked at current data and used future climate projections to determine the status of the Adelie's habitat.

Type: Text Resource

Warming Waters Contributed to the Collapse of New England's Cod Fishery:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article discusses the decline in the population of cod found in the Gulf of Maine. The author writes that fishery managers have set strict quotas on cod, with little positive change. Research indicates climate change has been a major factor in the steady decline of cod, and the text explains why.

Type: Text Resource

Coral Reefs Defy Ocean Acidification Odds in Palau:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article discusses the impact that ocean acidification typically has on coral reefs in water with low pH. The text goes on to describe the surprising results of a study done on coral reefs in Palau that are thriving despite living in water with low pH. Researchers must conduct further tests to determine why this is happening, but it gives them hope that some coral reefs might be able to withstand future levels of ocean acidification.

Type: Text Resource

Environmental Pressures at the Top of the Earth Produce Evolutionary Impacts:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The text presents a picture of how and why animals and people living at the Arctic will start to change (due to changing climate with melting sea ice) in order to keep surviving.

Type: Text Resource

Colorado High Peaks Losing Glaciers as Climate Warms:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The text describes the results of a study that show declines in ice—glaciers, permafrost, subsurface ice, and lake ice—at the Niwot Ridge in the Rocky Mountains over the past thirty years. The text describes that the researchers attribute the declines in ice to climate change. Using the results of their study, the scientists also make a startling prediction that the Arikaree Glacier in the Rocky Mountains will disappear in twenty years.

Type: Text Resource

In Grasslands, Longer Spring Growing Season Offsets Higher Summer Temperatures:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article describes the process the researchers use to develop a detailed model of how they predict climate change will occur in the future and what effect this will have on North American grasslands. The author explains how climate change impacts ecosystems while also providing an example of using models in science to predict future events/outcomes.

Type: Text Resource

Low-Oxygen "Dead Zones" in North Pacific Linked to Past Ocean Warming:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text describes the results of a recent study that has found a link between past ocean warming and the onset of "dead zones" in the Pacific Ocean off Oregon and Washington.

Type: Text Resource

Polar Bears and Climate Change:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Polar bears are highly specialized to living on sea ice in the Arctic including their dependence on two species of seals. Therefore, scientists expect polar bears to be greatly affected by climate changes due to their habitat (reduced sea ice) and prey availability. These effects include increased movement, fewer den areas, and decreased prey access, which are predicted to have a variety of negative consequences on polar bears in the future.

Type: Text Resource

Gentoo Penguins Thrive, While Adelies and Chinstraps Falter in a Climate-Changed World:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article describes various species of penguins that are affected by warming climates in Antarctica. Tracing the penguins' genetic ancestry back to the last ice age suggests that some species' populations are increasing, while other species' populations are diminishing. This is likely due to the effects of climate change on the penguins' main food sources.

Type: Text Resource

Could the Yosemite Rim Fire Be Ecologically Beneficial?:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The Yosemite Rim Fire was the third largest in California's history. This article explains what made it such a devastating event and what could result from this wildfire. The article addresses ideas of succession, human impact, and ecosystems.

Type: Text Resource

"Greener" Energy Needed Now, Group Warns:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article is based on a climate change report published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It provides another perspective on climate change from the IPCC and includes evidence and possible solutions to the problems caused by manmade pollution.

Type: Text Resource

Climate Change Affects Forest Floor Ecosystem:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article presents experimental results from an investigation of how the amount of rainfall, predicted by climate change models, affects fungal decomposition on the forest floor. It discusses how spiders, springtails, and fungi form an important part of the nutrient-cycling food web in a forest ecosystem and how decomposition rates are influenced by precipitation in unique ways.

Type: Text Resource

Tutorials

Interactive Carbon Lab:

This lab simulation will allow you to explore how carbon circulates through the environment. Through data collection and analysis, you will experiment with the impact that humans are having on the cycling of carbon and make data based predictions on how these impacts may change environmental outcomes to the year 2100.

Type: Tutorial

Population Ecology:

In this interactive, explore one of the most well-understood mass seedings—that of oak-tree acorn crops—and its widespread effects on various animals in the ecosystem as well as on nearby human populations.

Type: Tutorial

Original Student Tutorials Science - Grades 9-12

Changing with the Times: Variation within Ecosystems:

 Explore how environmental changes at different time scales affect living organisms within ecosystems.

Student Resources

Vetted resources students can use to learn the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

Original Student Tutorial

Changing with the Times: Variation within Ecosystems:

 Explore how environmental changes at different time scales affect living organisms within ecosystems.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Lesson Plan

CO2: Find Out What It Means to You:

This BLOSSOMS lesson discusses Carbon Dioxide, and its impact on climate change. The main learning objective is for students to become more familiar with human production of Carbon Dioxide gas, as well as to gain an awareness of the potential for this gas to effect the temperature of Earth’s atmosphere. This lesson should take about an hour to complete. In order to complete the lesson, the teacher will need: printed copies of signs representing the different products and processes that take place in the carbon cycle (included), samples of matter that represent those products, handouts for the students to create a graphic of the carbon cycle (included) and graph paper or graphing software for students to create graphs. In the breaks of this BLOSSOMS lesson, students will be creating models of the carbon cycle as well as observing experiments and analyzing data from them. It is hoped that this lesson will familiarize students with ways in which carbon moves through our environment and provide them with some personal connection to the impact that an increased concentration of CO2 can have on air temperature. The goal is to spark their interest and hopefully to encourage them to ask and investigate more questions about the climate. 

Type: Lesson Plan

Tutorial

Interactive Carbon Lab:

This lab simulation will allow you to explore how carbon circulates through the environment. Through data collection and analysis, you will experiment with the impact that humans are having on the cycling of carbon and make data based predictions on how these impacts may change environmental outcomes to the year 2100.

Type: Tutorial

Parent Resources

Vetted resources caregivers can use to help students learn the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

Lesson Plan

Part 1: Pond Life:

This lesson is designed for students to investigate familiar and unfamiliar ecosystems using Internet resources, to explore how various organisms satisfy their needs within their environments, and to study the kinds of relationships that exist between organisms within an environment.

Type: Lesson Plan