Biodiversity and Health of Ecosystems Science Games
In this series of games, your students will learn about biodiversity, why it is important to an ecosystem, and what threatens it. The Biodiversity and Health of Ecosystems learning objective — based on NGSS and state standards — delivers improved student engagement and academic performance in your classroom, as demonstrated by research.
Scroll down for a preview of this learning objective’s games and the concepts they drive home.
Biodiversity is the variety of living things that share a habitat. High biodiversity is a sign of a healthy ecosystem. Without it, changes to the population of one species can have drastic consequences for the rest of the ecosystem.
Both direct and indirect factors affect an area’s biodiversity. Direct factors cause a change to the ecosystem itself, or how it functions. They include climate change, disease, invasive species, and natural disasters. Indirect factors change an ecosystem’s functioning by affecting one or more direct factor. For example, a change in human population can bring disease to an ecosystem.
Climate change presents an especially significant threat to biodiversity. In every ecosystem, organisms have adapted to the conditions of their environment. When temperatures change, it becomes increasingly difficult for them to survive. It can also create opportunities for invasive species to enter the ecosystem, robbing native species of the resources they need.
Another substantial threat to biodiversity is habitat loss and fragmentation. For example, when humans clear large sections of trees for land and lumber, it decreases the size of the ecosystem or splits it into smaller zones. This can have severe effects on wildlife, limiting access to food, water, mates, and more.
A preview of each game in the learning objective is found below.
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