Analyze how population size is determined by births, deaths, immigration, emigration, and limiting factors (biotic and abiotic) that determine carrying capacity.
Subject Area: Science
Grade: 912
Body of Knowledge: Life Science
Idea: Level 3: Strategic Thinking & Complex Reasoning
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
Assessed: Yes


Annually assessed on Biology EOC. Also assesses SC.912.L.17.2; SC.912.L.17.4; SC.912.L.17.8; SC.912.N.1.4.


    Also Assesses:

    SC.912.L.17.2 Explain the general distribution of life in aquatic systems as a function of chemistry, geography, light, depth, salinity, and temperature.

    Describe changes in ecosystems resulting from seasonal variations, climate change, and succession.

    SC.912.L.17.8 Recognize the consequences of the losses of biodiversity due to catastrophic events, climate changes, human activity, and the introduction of invasive, non-native species.

    SC.912.N.1.4 Identify sources of information and assess their reliability according to the strict standards of scientific investigation.

  • Clarification :

    Students will use data and information about population dynamics, abiotic factors, and/or biotic factors to explain and/or analyze a change in carrying capacity and its effect on population size in an ecosystem.

    Students will explain that different types of organisms exist within aquatic systems due to chemistry, geography, light, depth, salinity, and/or temperature.

    Students will describe the potential changes to an ecosystem resulting from seasonal variations, climate changes, and/or succession.

    Students will identify positive and/or negative consequences that result from a reduction in biodiversity.

    Students will assess the reliability of sources of information according to scientific standards.

  • Content Limits :

    Items referring to chemical factors in aquatic systems are limited to pH, oxygen, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, phosphorous, and salinity.

    Items referring to geography in aquatic systems are limited to water depth, latitude, temperature, underwater topography, and proximity to land.

    Items will not require the identification of oceanic zones.

    Items referring to reduction in biodiversity may include examples of catastrophic events, climate changes, human activities, and the introduction of invasive and nonnative species, but they will not assess specific knowledge of these.

    Items referring to reduction in biodiversity will focus on the consequence and not require knowledge of the specific event that led to the reduction.

    Items addressing climate change are limited to biodiversity and population dynamics contexts.

  • Stimulus Attributes :
    None specified
  • Response Attributes :
    None specified
  • Prior Knowledge :
    Items may require the student to apply scientific knowledge described in the NGSSS from lower grades. This benchmark requires prerequisite knowledge of SC.7.L.15.2, SC.7.L.15.3, SC.7.L.17.3, SC.7.E.6.6, SC.6.E.7.7, SC.8.N.4.1, and SC.8.N.4.2.


  • Test Item #: Sample Item 1
  • Question: The number of pythons found throughout Everglades National Park has increased in recent years. These huge snakes are not native to Florida and are believed to have been released into the wild by pet owners. Wildlife biologists have initiated attempts to capture and remove these pythons. Which statement best explains the biologists’ reason for removing these pythons from the Everglades?
  • Difficulty: N/A
  • Type: MC: Multiple Choice