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Preliminary Biology

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Module 1 | A local ecosystem

Focus 2: Each local aquatic or terrestrial ecosystem is unique

Lesson 1 | Adaptations

  • Define the term adaptation and discuss the problems associated with inferring characteristics of organisms as adaptations for living in a particular habitat

  • Identify some adaptations of living things to factors in their environment

  • Identify and describe in detail adaptations of a plant and an animal from the local ecosystem

Lesson 2 | Relationships

  • Outline factors that affect numbers in predator and prey populations in the area studied

  • Identify examples of allelopathy, parasitism, mutualism and commensalism in an ecosystem and the role of organisms in each type of relationship

  • Describe and explain the short-term and long-term consequences on the ecosystem of species competing for resources

Lesson 3 | Field study

  • Choose equipment or resources and undertake a field study of a local terrestrial or aquatic ecosystem to identify data sources and
    – Measure abiotic variables in the ecosystems being studied using appropriate instruments and relate this data to the distribution of organisms
    – Estimate the size of a plant and an animal population in the ecosystem using transects and/or quadrats
    – Collect , analyse and present data to describe the distribution of the plant and animal species whose abundance has been estimated
    – Describe two trophic interactions found between organisms in the area studied
    – Identify data sources and gather, present and analyse data by:
    – tabulation of data collected in the study
    – calculation of mean values with ranges
    – graphing changes with time in the measured abiotic data
    – evaluating variability in measurements made during scientific investigations

  • Examine trends in population estimates for some plant and animal species within an ecosystem

  • Process and analyse information and present a report of the investigation of an ecosystem in which the purpose is introduced, the methods described and the results shown graphically and use available evidence to discuss their relevance

Lesson 4 | Energy in ecosystems

  • Describe the role of decomposers in ecosystems

  • Explain trophic interactions between organisms in an ecosystem using food chains, food webs and pyramids of biomass and energy

  • Gather information from first-hand and secondary sources to construct food chains and food webs to illustrate the relationships between member species in an ecosystem

Lesson 5 | Human impacts

  • Identify the impact of humans in the ecosystem studied

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    61 Lessons

    Lessons by expert teachers that cover the NSW Preliminary Biology Syllabus comprehensively.

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    61 Practice questions

    61 lesson quizzes that include a variety of question types. This course also includes 20 focus level and 4 module level tests, as well as a comprehensive end of course practice exam.

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  • HSCStudy Lab interactives

    26 Interactive activities

    Interactive activities that help you explore and understand key syllabus dot point as well as additional resources such as an interactive Periodic Table.

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