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Familiarise yourself with ecosystems.


Knowing how human activity impacts the planet is one of the key aims of the GCSE geography course. From this, you can develop an understanding of how the world needs to be managed in order to make sure that future generations will not suffer hardship as a result of our actions today. In order to fully understand the relationship between the natural world and humans, you need to know how ecosystems work. Global ecosystems support life on the Earth, the wellbeing of humans is closely linked to the wellbeing of global ecosystems.

Firstly, you need to be aware of what an ecosystem is. It is defined as the interdependence of plants, animals, climate, water and soil in a given location. Plants and animals are called the biotic factors whilst the climate, soil and water supply are abiotic factors.

Which of the following statements about ecosystems is NOT true?
Ecosystems provide resources for people
Human activity has no effect on ecosystems
Ecosystems are important globally
Sustainability is important when taking resources from any ecosystem
Any human activity will have an effect on local ecosystems
Why is it important to use ecosystems sustainably?
So that the economy of a country can develop
To ensure the continued supply of the resources we obtain
So that local people will always have jobs
To ensure that globalisation can take place
Where changes to ecosystems through human activity is not sustainable, permanent changes will occur and resources may no longer be available to us
Which of the following is a cause of deforestation in a tropical rainforest?
Subsistence farming
Mineral extraction
Population growth
All of the above
Other reasons include logging, commercial farming, road building, energy generation and the development of new and existing settlements
Which of the following is the most likely to be the first indication that something was wrong with an ecosystem?
The grass dies
Trees die
The mouse population drops
Birds of prey disappear from the ecosystem
The most sensitive part of an ecosystem is the top predator species
Which of the following is NOT a reason for sustainable use of a tropical rainforest?
Rainforests provide many useful resources
Rainforests help to regulate the atmosphere
Native inhabitants need the resources a rainforest supplies
To enable people to travel deep into the rainforest
Tropical rainforests can provide many useful materials - food, building materials, substances that can be turned into medical drugs and more
In which of the following biomes is the UK situated?
Temperate deciduous forest
Coniferous forest
The largest area covered by this biome is western Europe
What is a biome?
A micro-ecosystem
A small-scale ecosystem
A medium-scale ecosystem
A large-scale ecosystem
Biomes can stretch across entire continents
Which of the following is NOT an abiotic factor in an ecosystem?
Abiotic factors are the non-living components of an ecosystem
The links between the plants and animals and the animals that eat them are called:
a food circle
a food chain
a feeding group
a food mile
Usually, the feeding relationships in an ecosystem are complex and are best represented by a food web
The name given to the group of organisms that recycle the nutrients in an ecosystem is:
the decomposers
the liquidators
the exterminators
the predators
They are essential for a healthy ecosystem
You can find more about this topic by visiting BBC Bitesize - Ecosystems

Author:  Kev Woodward

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