Our planet’s diverse, thriving ecosystems may seem like permanent fixtures, but they’re vulnerable to collapse. Jungles can become deserts, and reefs can become lifeless rocks. What makes one ecosystem strong and another weak in the face of change? Kim Preshoff details why the answer, to a large extent, is biodiversity.
Biodiversity is the variety of plants and animals living on Earth, carefully playing an important part in maintaining the balance of nature. Biodiversity is important to people in many ways. Plants, for instance, help humans by giving off oxygen. They also provide food, shade, construction material, medicines, and fiber for clothing and paper. The root system of plants helps prevent flooding. Plants, fungi, and animals such as worms keep soil fertile and water clean. As biodiversity decreases, these systems break down.
This video satisfies the 3-LS4-3 and 3-LS4-4 requirement for third-grade science proficiency.
Students who demonstrate understanding can:
3-LS4-3. Construct an argument with evidence that in a particular habitat some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.
3-LS4-4. Make a claim about the merit of a solution to a problem caused when the environment changes and the types of plants and animals that live there may change.