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Chapter 2 - Ecosystems

life_science

 

 

Unit A - Organisms and Environments

Chapter 2 - Ecosystems

Examine the spectrum of habitats that are found throughout the planet. Discover how plants and animals interact in their environments.

Create-a-Coral-Reef

Hands-on Activity

Create a Coral Reef

Did you know that, at their core, coral reefs are the skeletons of thousands of dead coral? Make your own coral reef diorama—with pasta, Play-Doh™, pipe cleaners, pom-poms, and hair curlers.

Welcome-to-the-Dzanga-Sangha

Interactive

Welcome to the Dzanga-Sangha

Travel to the lush Dzanga-Sangha rainforest with BaAka. This excellent tour guide will show you the sights—and help you find the clues needed to play Connect the Dots.

Dive-Into-Worlds-Within-the-Sea

Interactive

Dive Into Worlds Within the Sea

Which squirmy little creatures does the spiny lobster eat? Can you spot the weird greenish glow on the belly of the cookie-cutter shark? Show off your good thinking with a game of good linking.

It-takes-all-kinds

Story

It Takes All Kinds to Make a World

The ocean's one diverse place—with alga so tiny that 10 million can fit in a single teaspoon to whales longer than three school buses. Take the surfboard challenge, and ride the waves of biodiversity!

What-Do-You-Know-About-Biodiversity-Thumbnail

Activity

What Do You Know About Biodiversity?

Invasive species, endangered species, the Endangered Species Act—when it comes to biodiversity, is your knowledge thriving or close to extinct? Find out with this interactive quiz. 

wetlands

Young Naturalist Awards Essay

How Do Humans and Plants Interact in Tidal Wetlands?

How is cordgrass able to survive the high salinity of a marsh when other plants can't? An amazing adaptation that lets it secrete excess salt, as this ninth-grader from Virginia discovered.

spectrum-of-habitats

Curriculum Materials

Spectrum of Habitats

Did you know that the world's deserts keep expanding each year? Or that islands have the highest animal extinction rate—75 percent? Take a closer look at the major habitats found on Earth.

woodlot

Young Naturalist Awards Essay

Exploring a Woodlot's Ecosystem

Chances are you've heard the saying "There's no such thing as a free lunch." But did you know that it's one of fundamental laws of ecology? Explore all four with this tenth-grader from Wisconsin.

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Science Bulletin

Surveying Vietnam

In recent years, scientists from around the world have turned to Vietnam in their search for new plant and animal species. Vietnam harbors an astonishing range of habitats, from rain forests and dry forests to mangroves and coral reefs. Scientific expeditions and surveys have discovered an amazing range of biodiversity. But even as this biodiversity is being revealed, it is coming under threat from development and human activity. Scientists now are racing to accomplish their studies in an effort to keep Vietnam's biological wealth from disappearing entirely.

Southern Redback Vole

Young Naturalist Awards Essay

Aspen: A Keystone Species

By keeping a nature journal, this 16-year-old from Colorado quickly saw how aspens support and sustain biodiversity. Learn more about the most widely distributed tree species in North America.

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