As the human population increases, so does human impact on the environment. Human activities, such as reducing the amount of forest cover, increasing the amount and variety of chemicals released into the environment, and intensive farming, have changed Earth’s land, oceans, and atmosphere. Some of these changes have decreased the capacity of the environment to support some life forms.
The student will investigate and understand dynamic equilibria within populations, communities, and ecosystems. Key concepts include a) interactions within and among populations including carrying capacities, limiting factors, and growth curves; b) nutrient cycling with energy flow through ecosystems; c) succession patterns in ecosystems; d) the effects of natural events and human activities on ecosystems; and e) analysis of the flora, fauna, and microorganisms of Virginia ecosystems.