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Understand the Human Impact on Local and Global Biodiversity

In this worksheet, students will define biodiversity and understand the importance of stabilising ecosystems. They will also understand the benefits and challenges of maintaining biodiversity.

'Understand the Human Impact on Local and Global Biodiversity' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 4

GCSE Subjects:   Biology: Single Subject, Biology: Combined Science

GCSE Boards:   OCR 21st Century

Curriculum topic:   Life on Earth: Past, Present and Future

Curriculum subtopic:   How is Biodiversity Threatened and How Can We Protect It?

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Everywhere you look, you will see different creatures sharing a habitat as a community of different species.

 

This is biodiversity: when many different species live together in an environment.

 

High biodiversity means there are many different species in the same place.

 

   

 

Low biodiversity means there are only a few types of different species, although there could be many members of one group.  

 

        

 

Biodiversity is relevant not only to animals but applies to plants too!

 

 

As biodiversity decreases, ecosystems become less stable.  This is because all organisms rely on each other for the basics of survival (food, shelter, and a thriving environment).

 

So, let's pull this all together:

 

 

Human survival depends on protecting our environment, the Earth itself is a large ecosystem! We need to keep it stable so we have enough food, shelter and a healthy environment to prevent extinction. 

 

The smallest change to one creature can affect all the other creatures around them (think about the food chain) so preserving nature is a key responsibility among humans.   

 

However, humans have already damaged the world heavily in 3 major ways:

 

 

And the more habitat damage and disruption to native species, the more inevitable extinction seems.

 

However, there is some good news!  There are environmental initiatives in place to help protect our world. 

 

A good example is Ecotourism, where the effect of humans visiting natural habitats is minimised. 

 

It's so important that we think about how we look after our planet!

Fill in the blanks below to define biodiversity:

Match the terms below:

Column A

Column B

High biodiversity creates
an unstable ecosystem
Low biodiversity creates
a stable ecosystem

True or False:

 

'Different species in the same ecosystem need each other for food, protection and shelter'

Which THREE ways do humans damage ecosystems?

Farming

Waste Management

Deforestation

Migration

Global Warming

What type of pollution is caused in the sentence below? 

 

[Select only ONE word]

\'The leakage of fertilisers can cause WATER/ AIR/ LAND pollution\'

Water pollution, air pollution and land damage are examples of which type of human contamination?

Global Warming

Deforestation

Poor Waste Management

The picture below shows an ecosystem:

 

 

 

Select all of the answers below that are relevant to this picture.

Can you select 3 challenges to tackling reduced biodiversity?

Money

Jobs

Paperwork

Human Rights

Housing

What is a successful global program that protects the environment from being affected by humans?

The image below is an example of different species depending on one another for food. 

 

A change to one species can have a ripple effect across the whole ecosystem, but some changes are more devastating than others. 
 

In the table below, select which animals would be affected NEGATIVELY if the indicated species were removed from this ecosystem. 

 

 

  • Question 1

Fill in the blanks below to define biodiversity:

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
How did you get on? Learning the definition of biodiversity is key for this topic! Biodiversity is a range of different species coexisting together and sharing the resources in the same habitat, for example, the Earth.
  • Question 2

Match the terms below:

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

High biodiversity creates
a stable ecosystem
Low biodiversity creates
an unstable ecosystem
EDDIE SAYS
How did you do? Did you understand the concept this question is trying to push? The more species that share the same home, the more food sources and places of shelter will be available. So high biodiversity leads to a stable ecosystem, but if we reduce the biodiversity there is less food available and groups of animals will start to suffer and EXTINCTION becomes possible.
  • Question 3

True or False:

 

'Different species in the same ecosystem need each other for food, protection and shelter'

CORRECT ANSWER
FALSE
EDDIE SAYS
This is false. Coexisting species in an ecosystem need each other for food, shelter and SUSTAINING THE SHARED ENVIRONMENT. If you think about the food chain, different animals hunt one another to survive, so this is why the answer has to be false. Different animals DO NOT protect one another, think about the fox and the rabbit! If one species damages any of these key factors for survival, many negatives effects would be felt across multiple species, including the risk of extinction.
  • Question 4

Which THREE ways do humans damage ecosystems?

CORRECT ANSWER
Waste Management
Deforestation
Global Warming
EDDIE SAYS
If this question felt a little too hard, just look back at the introduction for a refresher! Over hundreds of years, humans have used the Earth to their own benefit and consequently, the environment is now globally damaged, needing urgent repair. Humans have created some of the most widespread problems including deforestation, poor waste management, and global warming.
  • Question 5

What type of pollution is caused in the sentence below? 

 

[Select only ONE word]

CORRECT ANSWER
'The leakage of fertilisers can cause WATER/ AIR/ LAND pollution'
EDDIE SAYS
Improper disposal of waste materials is one of the most harmful human actions against biodiversity, a key example being the leakage of fertilisers from farming leaking into clean water sources. Another example of humans creating water pollution is sewage contaminating natural sources of water.
  • Question 6

Water pollution, air pollution and land damage are examples of which type of human contamination?

CORRECT ANSWER
Poor Waste Management
EDDIE SAYS
Human contamination largely involves air pollution, water pollution and land damage. Improper waste management can damage many naturally clean sources of nutrition and shelter, reducing biodiversity as fewer species are able to survive as these conditions deteriorate.
  • Question 7

The picture below shows an ecosystem:

 

 

 

Select all of the answers below that are relevant to this picture.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
So the questions are starting to ask a little more from you now but it should still be manageable- if not, don't worry, you just need a little more practise! The picture shows a forest being cleared, most likely for development or farming. This is an example of deforestation, one of the 3 main ways humans damage the environment. Deforestation reduces biodiversity and therefore, creates an unstable environment. If the wood that was collected was burnt this would contribute towards global warming, HOWEVER, that is not shown in this picture, so this is not correct.
  • Question 8

Can you select 3 challenges to tackling reduced biodiversity?

CORRECT ANSWER
Money
Jobs
Housing
EDDIE SAYS
There are multiple barriers stopping environmental issues from being fixed across the world: - Governments worry about the cost - In an attempt to help ecosystems, by for example reducing deforestation, many locals could be left unemployed - The human population is growing rapidly, and all these people need homes, but this means natural environments with their own animals and plants are being destroyed to build on.
  • Question 9

What is a successful global program that protects the environment from being affected by humans?

CORRECT ANSWER
ECOTOURISM
SUSTAINABLE TOURISM
EDDIE SAYS
Ecotourism is a sustainable global attempt at reducing the impact of travelling on undisturbed worldwide environments.
  • Question 10

The image below is an example of different species depending on one another for food. 

 

A change to one species can have a ripple effect across the whole ecosystem, but some changes are more devastating than others. 
 

In the table below, select which animals would be affected NEGATIVELY if the indicated species were removed from this ecosystem. 

 

 

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
So with the steady increase in difficulty, hopefully by this question you should feel more confident applying your understanding of biodiversity. There is great interdependence amongst species in the same habitat as food sources. If there is no grass, the rabbits have no food and die and so, therefore, does the fox. If the rabbit is removed, there is more grass, but the fox has no food and so dies. If the fox is removed, the rabbits and grass continue undisturbed, and the effect is not drastic. Changes to one species can affect many others, showing the importance of having many varieties of animals to provide plenty of resources. Well done on this topic and have a go jotting down the explanations or reviewing the intro if you still feel a little unsure!
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