Unit: Ecology (reorganized from the College Board AP Biology Curriculum Framework 2012 by David Knuffke) (Changes to the 2015 Framework in RED)

Jump to: Behavior; Lesson 1: Interactions bet. Living Systems & the Environment; Lesson 2: Population Dynamics; Lesson 3: Communications in Populations & Ecosystems; Lesson 4: Community Interactions; Lesson 5: Trophic Structure; Lesson 6: Ecosystem Impacts, Items Not on the national exam

Behavior

Enduring understanding 2.E: Many biological processes involved in growth, reproduction and dynamic homeostasis include temporal regulation and coordination.

Essential knowledge 2.E.3: Timing and coordination of behavior are regulated by various mechanisms and are important in natural selection.

a. Individuals can act on information and communicate it to others.

Evidence of student learning is a demonstrated understanding of each of the following:

1. Innate behaviors are behaviors that are inherited.

2. Learning occurs through interactions with the environment and other organisms.

b. Responses to information and communication of information are vital to natural selection. [See also 2.C.3]

Evidence of student learning is a demonstrated understanding of each of the following:

1. In phototropism in plants, changes in the light source lead to differential growth, resulting in maximum exposure of leaves to light for photosynthesis.

2. In photoperiodism in plants, changes in the length of night regulate flowering and preparation for winter.

3. Behaviors in animals are triggered by environmental cues and are vital to reproduction, natural selection and survival.

Students should be able to demonstrate understanding of the above concept by

using an illustrative example such as:

4. Cooperative behavior within or between populations contributes to the survival of the populations.

Students should be able to demonstrate understanding of the above concept by

using an illustrative example such as:


Learning Objectives:

LO 2.38 The student is able to analyze data to support the claim that responses to information and communication of information affect natural selection. [See SP 5.1]

LO 2.39 The student is able to justify scientific claims, using evidence, to describe how timing and coordination of behavioral events in organisms are regulated by

several mechanisms. [See SP 6.1]

LO 2.40 The student is able to connect concepts in and across domain(s) to predict how environmental factors affect responses to information and change behavior. [See SP 7.2]

LO 2.41 The student is able evaluate data to show the relationship between photosynthesis and respiration in the flow of free energy through a system [See SP 5.3, 7.1]

LO 2.42 The student is able to pose a scientific question concerning the behavioral or physiological response of an organism to a change in its environment [SP 3.1]


Lesson 1:  Interactions between Living Systems and The Environment

Enduring understanding 2.D: Growth and dynamic homeostasis of a biological system are influenced by changes in the system’s environment.

Essential knowledge 2.D.1: All biological systems from cells and organisms to populations, communities and ecosystems are affected by complex biotic and abiotic interactions involving exchange of matter and free energy.

a. Cell activities are affected by interactions with biotic and abiotic factors.

To foster student understanding of this concept, instructors can choose an illustrative example such as:

· Cell density

·Biofilms

·Temperature

·Water availability

·Sunlight

b. Organism activities are affected by interactions with biotic and abiotic factors. [See also 4.A.6]

To foster student understanding of this concept, instructors can choose an illustrative example such as:

·Symbiosis (mutualism, commensalism, parasitism)

· Predator–prey relationships

· Water and nutrient availability, temperature, salinity, pH

c. The stability of populations, communities and ecosystems is affected by interactions with biotic and abiotic factors. [See also 4.A.5, 4.A.6]

To foster student understanding of this concept, instructors can choose an illustrative example such as:

· Water and nutrient availability

· Availability of nesting materials and sites

· Food chains and food webs

· Species diversity

· Population density

· Algal blooms

 

Learning Objectives:

LO 2.22 The student is able to refine scientific models and questions about the effect of complex biotic and abiotic interactions on all biological systems, from cells and organisms to populations, communities and ecosystems. [See SP 1.3, 3.2]

LO 2.23 The student is able to design a plan for collecting data to show that all biological systems (cells, organisms, populations, communities and ecosystems) are affected by complex biotic and abiotic interactions. [See SP 4.2, 7.2]

LO 2.24 The student is able to analyze data to identify possible patterns and relationships between a biotic or abiotic factor and a biological system (cells, organisms, populations, communities or ecosystems). [See SP 5.1]

 

Essential knowledge 2.D.3: Biological systems are affected by disruptions to their dynamic homeostasis.

b. Disruptions to ecosystems impact the dynamic homeostasis or balance of the ecosystem.

To foster student understanding of this concept, instructors can choose an illustrative example such as:

· Invasive and/or eruptive species

·Human impact

·Hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, volcanoes, fires

·Water limitation

· Salination

 

Learning Objective:

LO 2.28 The student is able to use representations or models to analyze quantitatively and qualitatively the effects of disruptions to dynamic homeostasis in biological systems. [See SP 1.4]

 

Lesson 2:  Population Dynamics

Enduring understanding 4.A: Interactions within biological systems lead to complex properties.

Essential knowledge 4.A.5: Communities are composed of populations of organisms that interact in complex ways.

a. The structure of a community is measured and described in terms of species composition and species diversity.

b. Mathematical or computer models are used to illustrate and investigate population interactions within and environmental impacts on a community. [See also 3.E.1, 3.E.3]

To foster student understanding of this concept, instructors can choose an illustrative example such as:

· Predator/prey relationships spreadsheet model

· Symbiotic relationship

· Graphical representation of field data

· Introduction of species

· Global climate change models

c. Mathematical models and graphical representations are used to illustrate population growth patterns and interactions.

Evidence of student learning is a demonstrated understanding of each of the following:

· Reproduction without constraints results in the exponential growth of a population.

· A population can produce a density of individuals that exceeds the system’s resource availability.

· As limits to growth due to density-dependent and density-independent factors are imposed, a logistic growth model generally ensues.

· Demographics data with respect to age distributions and fecundity can be used to study human populations.

 

Learning Objectives:

LO 4.11 The student is able to justify the selection of the kind of data needed to answer scientific questions about the interaction of populations within communities. [See SP 1.4, 4.1]

LO 4.12 The student is able to apply mathematical routines to quantities that describe communities composed of populations of organisms that interact in complex ways. [See SP 2.2]

LO 4.13 The student is able to predict the effects of a change in the community’s populations on the community. [See SP 6.4]

 

Enduring understanding 4.C: Naturally occurring diversity among and between components within biological systems affects interactions with the environment.

Essential knowledge 4.C.3: The level of variation in a population affects population dynamics.

a. Population ability to respond to changes in the environment is affected by genetic diversity. Species and populations with little genetic diversity are at risk for extinction. [See also 1.A.1, 1.A.2, 1.C.1]

To foster student understanding of this concept, instructors can choose an illustrative example such as:

· California condors

· Black-footed ferrets

· Prairie chickens

· Potato blight causing the potato famine

· Corn rust effects on agricultural crops

· Tasmanian devils and infectious cancer

b. Genetic diversity allows individuals in a population to respond differently to the same changes in environmental conditions.

To foster student understanding of this concept, instructors can choose an illustrative example such as:

· Not all animals in a population stampede.

· Not all individuals in a population in a disease outbreak are equally affected; some may not show symptoms, some may have mild symptoms, or some may be naturally immune and resistant to the disease.

c. Allelic variation within a population can be modeled by the Hardy-Weinberg equation(s). [See also 1.A.1]

Learning Objectives:

LO 4.25 The student is able to use evidence to justify a claim that a variety of phenotypic responses to a single environmental factor can result from different genotypes within the population. [See SP 6.1]

LO 4.26 The student is able to use theories and models to make scientific claims and/or predictions about the effects of variation within populations on survival and fitness. [See SP 6.4]

 

Lesson 3:  Communication in Populations & Ecosystems

Enduring understanding 3.E: Transmission of information results in changes within and between biological systems.

Essential knowledge 3.E.1: Individuals can act on information and communicate it to others.

a. Organisms exchange information with each other in response to internal changes and external cues, which can change behavior.

Students should be able to demonstrate understanding of the above concept by using an illustrative example such as:

· Fight or flight response

· Predator warnings

·Protection of young

· Plant-plant interactions due to herbivory

· Avoidance responses

b. Communication occurs through various mechanisms.

Evidence of student learning is a demonstrated understanding of each of the following:

1. Living systems have a variety of signal behaviors or cues that produce changes in the behavior of other organisms and can result in differential reproductive success.

To foster student understanding of this concept, instructors can choose an illustrative example such as:

·Herbivory responses

· Territorial marking in mammals

· Coloration in flowers

2. Animals use visual, audible, tactile, electrical and chemical signals to indicate dominance, find food, establish territory and ensure reproductive success.

To foster student understanding of this concept, instructors can choose an illustrative example such as:

· Bee dances

· Birds songs

· Territorial marking in mammals

· Pack behavior in animals

· Herd, flock, and schooling behavior in animals

·Predator warning

· Colony and swarming behavior in insects

· Coloration

c. Responses to information and communication of information are vital to natural selection and evolution. [See also 1.A.2]

Evidence of student learning is a demonstrated understanding of the following:

1. Natural selection favors innate and learned behaviors that increase survival and reproductive fitness.

Students should be able to demonstrate understanding of the above concept by using an illustrative example such as:

· Parent and offspring interactions

· Migration patterns

· Courtship and mating behaviors

· Foraging in bees and other animals

· Avoidance behavior to electric fences, poisons, or traps

2. Cooperative behavior tends to increase the fitness of the individual and the survival of the population.

To foster student understanding of this concept, instructors can choose an

Illustrative example such as:

· Pack behavior in animals

· Herd, flock and schooling behavior in animals

· Predator warning

· Colony and swarming behavior in insects

 

Learning Objectives:

LO 3.40 The student is able to analyze data that indicate how organisms exchange information in response to internal changes and external cues, and which can change behavior. [See SP 5.1]

LO 3.41 The student is able to create a representation that describes how organisms exchange information in response to internal changes and external cues, and which can result in changes in behavior. [See SP 1.1]

LO 3.42 The student is able to describe how organisms exchange information in response to internal changes or environmental cues. [See SP 7.1]

 

Lesson 4:  Community Interactions

Enduring understanding 4.B: Competition and cooperation are important aspects of biological systems.

Essential knowledge 4.B.3: Interactions between and within populations’ influence patterns of species distribution and abundance.

a. Interactions between populations affect the distributions and abundance of populations.

Evidence of student learning is a demonstrated understanding of each of the following:

· Competition, parasitism, predation, mutualism and commensalism can affect population dynamics.

· Relationships among interacting populations can be characterized by positive and negative effects, and can be modeled mathematically (predator/prey, epidemiological models, and invasive species).

· Many complex symbiotic relationships exist in an ecosystem, and feedback control systems play a role in the functioning of these ecosystems.

 

b. A population of organisms has properties that are different from those of the individuals that make up the population. The cooperation and competition between individuals contributes to these different properties.

c. Species-specific and environmental catastrophes, geological events, the sudden influx/ depletion of abiotic resources or increased human activities affect species distribution and abundance. [See also 1.A.1, 1.A.2]

To foster student understanding of this concept, instructors can choose an illustrative example such as:

· Loss of keystone species

· Kudzu

· Dutch elm disease

 

Learning Objective:

LO 4.19 The student is able to use data analysis to refine observations and measurements regarding the effect of population interactions on patterns of species distribution and abundance. [See SP 2.2, 5.2]

 

Lesson 5:  Trophic Structure

Enduring understanding 2.A: Growth, reproduction and maintenance of the organization of living systems require free energy and matter.

Essential knowledge 2.A.1: All living systems require constant input of free energy.

a. Life requires a highly ordered system.

Evidence of student learning is a demonstrated understanding of each of the following:

1. Order is maintained by constant free energy input into the system.

2. Loss of order or free energy flow results in death.

3. Increased disorder and entropy are offset by biological processes that maintain or increase order.

d. Organisms use free energy to maintain organization, grow and reproduce.

Evidence of student learning is a demonstrated understanding of each of the following:

2. Reproduction and rearing of offspring require free energy beyond that used for maintenance and growth. Different organisms use various reproductive strategies in response to energy availability.

To foster student understanding of this concept, instructors can choose an

Illustrative example such as:

· Seasonal reproduction in animals and plants

· Life-history strategy (biennial plants, reproductive diapause)

4. Excess acquired free energy versus required free energy expenditure results in energy storage or growth.

5. Insufficient acquired free energy versus required free energy expenditure results in loss of mass and, ultimately, the death of an organism.

e. Changes in free energy availability can result in changes in population size.

f. Changes in free energy availability can result in disruptions to an ecosystem.

To foster student understanding of this concept, instructors can choose an illustrative example such as:

· Change in the producer level can affect the number and size of other trophic levels.

· Change in energy resources levels such as sunlight can affect the number and size of the trophic levels.

 

 

Enduring understanding 4.A: Interactions within biological systems lead to complex properties.

 

Essential knowledge 4.A.6: Interactions among living systems and with their environment result in the movement of matter and energy.

a. Energy flows, but matter is recycled. [See also 2.A.1]

b. Changes in regional and global climates and in atmospheric composition influence patterns of primary productivity.

c. Organisms within food webs and food chains interact. [See also 2.D.1]

d. Food webs and food chains are dependent on primary productivity.

e. Models allow the prediction of the impact of change in biotic and abiotic factors.

Evidence of student learning is a demonstrated understanding of each of the following:

·Competition for resources and other factors limits growth and can be described by the logistic model.

·Competition for resources, territoriality, health, predation, accumulation of wastes and other factors contribute to density-dependent population regulation.

g. Many adaptations of organisms are related to obtaining and using energy and matter in a particular environment. [See also 2.A.1, 2.A.2]

 

Learning Objectives:

LO 4.14 The student is able to apply mathematical routines to quantities that describe interactions among living systems and their environment, which result in the movement of matter and energy. [See SP 2.2]

LO 4.15 The student is able to use visual representations to analyze situations or solve problems qualitatively to illustrate how interactions among living systems and with their environment result in the movement of matter and energy. [See SP 1.4]

LO 4.16 The student is able to predict the effects of a change of matter or energy availability on communities.[See SP 6.4]

 

Lesson 6:  Ecosystem Impacts

Enduring understanding 4.A: Interactions within biological systems lead to complex properties.

Essential knowledge 4.A.6: Interactions among living systems and with their environment result in the movement of matter and energy.

f. Human activities impact ecosystems on local, regional and global scales. [See also 2.D.3]

Evidence of student learning is a demonstrated understanding of each of the following:

· As human populations have increased in numbers, their impact on habitats for other species have been magnified.

· In turn, this has often reduced the population size of the affected species and resulted in habitat destruction and, in some cases, the extinction of species.

 

Enduring understanding 4.B: Competition and cooperation are important aspects of biological systems.

 

Essential knowledge 4.B.4: Distribution of local and global ecosystems changes over time.

a. Human impact accelerates change at local and global levels. [See also 1.A.2]

To foster student understanding of this concept, instructors can choose an illustrative example such as:

· Logging, slash and burn agriculture, urbanization, monocropping, infrastructure development (dams, transmission lines, roads), and global climate change threaten ecosystems and life on Earth.

· An introduced species can exploit a new niche free of predators or competitors, thus exploiting new resources.

· Introduction of new diseases can devastate native species. Illustrative examples include:

Dutch elm disease

Potato blight

Small pox [historic example for Native Americans]

b. Geological and meteorological events impact ecosystem distribution.

Evidence of student learning is a demonstrated understanding of the following:

1. Biogeographical studies illustrate these changes.

To foster student understanding of this concept, instructors can choose an illustrative example such as:

· El Niño

· Continental drift

· Meteor impact on dinosaurs

 

Learning Objectives:

LO 4.20 The student is able to explain how the distribution of ecosystems changes over time by identifying large-scale events that have resulted in these changes in the past. [See SP 6.2, 6.3]

LO 4.21 The student is able to predict consequences of human actions on both local and global ecosystems. [See SP 6.4]

 

Enduring understanding 4.C: Naturally occurring diversity among and between components within biological systems affects interactions with the environment.

 

Essential knowledge 4.C.4: The diversity of species within an ecosystem may influence the stability of the ecosystem.

a. Natural and artificial ecosystems with fewer component parts and with little diversity among the parts are often less resilient to changes in the environment. [See also 1.C.1]

b. Keystone species, producers, and essential abiotic and biotic factors contribute to maintaining the diversity of an ecosystem. The effects of keystone species on the ecosystem are disproportionate relative to their abundance in the ecosystem, and when they are removed from the ecosystem, the ecosystem often collapses.

Learning Objective:

LO 4.27 The student is able to make scientific claims and predictions about how species diversity within an ecosystem influences ecosystem stability. [See SP 6.4]



Untested by the College Board:

✘ No specific example of population and community dynamics is required for teaching the above concepts. Teachers are free to choose an example that best fosters student understanding (from 2.d.1.c).

✘ No specific system is required for teaching the concept in 2.D.3b. Teachers are free to choose the system that best fosters student understanding.

✘ The details of the various communications and community behavioral systems are beyond the scope of the course and the AP Exam.

✘ Specific symbiotic interactions are beyond the scope of the course and the AP Exam.