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  • In this activity, students are introduced to biodiversity. They make models of a marine ecosystem and then use their models to explore human impacts on ecosystems and biodiversity.

    By the end of this activity, students should be able to:

    • define biodiversity
    • explain why biodiversity is important
    • describe one marine ecosystem and how some of its members depend on their habitat
    • give an example of how human impact can be harmful to marine ecosystems and biodiversity
    • describe some ways we can help sustain our biodiversity.

    Download the Word file for:

    • introduction/background notes
    • what you need
    • what to do
    • student handouts.

    Related content

    These key articles look at biodiversity in the Bay of Plenty and how knowing what we have benefits marine science and innovation. Habitats (using the Bay of Plenty as a focus) is another key science concept – how marine life adapts to habitats and how it deals with stress caused by human impacts. Marine organisms have evolved many weird and wonderful adaptations to cope with the variable environmental conditions in the sea. Explore marine habitats and marine food webs further.

    Activity ideas


    • In Biodiversity battleships, students develop knowledge of flora and fauna in a variety of New Zealand habitats and gain awareness of the extent of loss of the New Zealand habitat.
    • In Threats to biodiversity, students research three aspects of biodiversity loss – direct species loss, habitat loss and pests and weeds.

    Food webs:

    • Students build their own food web using images of organisms from the marine ecosystem. The activity can be completed indoors or outside.
    • Making a food web is a practical way for students to understand the complexity of food webs.
    • Marine ecosystem this interactive diagram explores food webs and other aspects of life in the sea.
    • Beach visits – habitats and food webs involves students in researching and then observing a range of organisms to understand the interconnected nature of ecosystems.
      Published 11 January 2012 Referencing Hub articles
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