Essential idea: Human activities impact on ecosystem function.
Rhododendrons are beautiful eye catching shrubs that grow in many gardens throughout the world. Rhododendrons are native to Apline regions in Asia. Since their introduction to non-native regions they become an invasive species causing major disruptions to ecosystems, e.g. in Western Europe they have out-competed local woodland plants causing major reductions in local biodiversity.
Understandings, Applications and Skills
|C.3.U1||Introduced alien species can escape into local ecosystems and become invasive.|
|C.3.U2||Competitive exclusion and the absence of predators can lead to reduction in the numbers of endemic species when alien species become invasive.|
|C.3.U3||Pollutants become concentrated in the tissues of organisms at higher trophic levels by biomagnification.|
|C.3.U4||Macroplastic and microplastic debris has accumulated in marine environments.|
|C.3.A1||Study of the introduction of cane toads in Australia and one other local example of the introduction of an alien species.|
|C.3.A2||Discussion of the trade-off between control of the malarial parasite and DDT pollution.|
|C.3.A3||Case study of the impact of marine plastic debris on Laysan albatrosses and one other named species.|
|C.3.S1||Analysis of data illustrating the causes and consequences of biomagnification.|
|C.3.S2||Evaluation of eradication programmes and biological control as measures to reduce the impact of alien species.|
[Text in square brackets indicates guidance notes]
Watch the TED talk by Stephen Palumbi on Following the mercury trail
Presentation and Notes
The presentation is designed to help your understanding. The notes outline is intended to be used as a framework for the development of student notes to aid revision.
Use the Cornell style template to collate your own notes for Topic C.3 Impacts of humans upon ecosystems.
Decline and extinction of Australian mammals since European settlement by Woinarski et al. is a good accessible article highlighting the extinciton of australian mammals due to invasive species such as the domestic cat and the red fox. It is also useful as an introduction to the formatting of Scientific papers in preparation for the Extended Essay.
Nature of science
Assessing risks and benefits associated with scientific research—the use of biological control has associated risk and requires verification by tightly controlled experiments before it is approved. (4.8)
Over 100 countries across the globe have agreed to ban the production of CFCs to reduce the depletion of the ozone layer.