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Natural sciences

Grade 8


Module 29

The ecosystem

ECOLOGY is the study of organisms in their natural environment and the interaction between them.


To be able to interpret representations of different ecological environments

[lo 2.2; lo 2.3]



2. What, are the basic components or parts of all ecological environments?

3. Bios is the Greek word for Life .

What, do you think, the following concepts mean? (Ask your teacher to explain.)

3.1 abiotic

3.2 biotic

3.3 factor

4. An ecological environment can be described as an ECOSYSTEM.

4.1 An ecosystem is

An ECOSYSTEM is, the living and non-living components of a certain environment and the interaction between the components.

The study of ecosystems and the interactions between the organisms and their environment is called ECOLOGY .


To examine part of a garden as an ecological environment (ecosystem)

[lo 1.1; lo 1.2; lo 2.1; lo 2.2]

Your teacher will arrange a visit to a suitable garden in your neighbourhood, or perhaps just to a part of your school grounds. It must be an area where the gardener does not work every day.

  • Why is that so?

1. Divide into groups and sit down in the garden. There must be quite a bit of space around each group. Sit absolutely still for at least five minutes.

2. Be aware of everything that can be observed.

3. Each group picks a single leaf (with permission) of each kind of plant that is visible in the area. Place it between two clean sheets of paper in a thick book. Give each plant your own name.

4. Count the number of plant and animal groups in your delimited area and tabulate the information below.

5. Make a list of all the non-living (abiotic) factors that determine the nature of the environment.

TYPE of organism (list own) NUMBER of organisms
TYPE of organism (list own) NUMBER of organisms

6. Abiotic factors:

Assessment of the GARDEN RESEARCH:

Were you able to carry out the assignment and write down results?

[LO 1.1; LO 1.2]

  • So far you have determined the following:

That a population is a group of similar organisms in a certain environment . The numbers in your column graph indicate the population size . The population size can be determined by using various methods and formulas.

The home of a plant or animal is called its habitat .

The role that is played by an organism in its environment refers to the “work” that it does, and is called its niche .

A community is made up of all the populations that occur in one area.

A herbarium is made by collecting and storing leaf material as you have done. Ask your teacher to tell you more about this. You could also research this topic on your own. Why don’t you ask your teacher to allocate some space in the classroom so that you can all exhibit your examples?

Let us see what you have learnt:

  • Do the following exercise. Write down a letter from Column B next to the number that is related to it from Column A. Write these letters in the squares.
1. The place where organisms are found. A. biotic
2. The number of organisms of one kind in an area. B. herbarium
3. Place where dried plant material is stored. C. habitat
4. Living part of the environment. D. population
5. All the populations in an environment. E. community
6. The role of an organism in its environment. F. ecology
7. The study of organisms in their environment. G. niche

Assessment of column exercise

Could you answer the questions successfully?

[LO 2.1]


LO 1: Scientific investigations:

The learner will be able to act confidently on curiosity about natural phenomena, and to investigate relationships and solve problems in scientific, technological and environmental contexts.

This is evident when the learner:

  • plans investigations;
  • conducts investigations and collects data.

LO 2: Constructing Science Knowledge:

The learner will know and be able to interpret and apply scientific, technological and environmental knowledge.

This is evident when the learner:

  • recalls meaningful information;
  • categorises information;

2.3 interprets information.


Activity : Interpreting representations of different ecological environments


1.. A defined area with all the living and non-living factors in it (biotic and a biotic components).

2. Light, air, water, soil, animals, plants.


3.1 a biotic: all non-living parts, e.g. air, water.

3.2 biotic: all living organisms, e.g. plants, animals.

3.3 factor: an element of cause that contributes to a result; the nature of something, e.g. an environment that has a determining effect.

4.a. An ecosystem is a particular area with all the living and non-living factors that determine the nature of the area, as well as the living organisms that occur in the area and interact with one another and with the non-living factors of the

Activity: Examining a section of the garden as an ecological environment (ecosystem)

The visit to the garden. Why must an uncultivated part of the garden be examined? The gardener should be persuaded to steer clear and not interfere.

Tables: learners compile their own lists:

Importance of location, date and time: A biotic factors vary continually and the behaviour and presence of organisms therefore also vary.

Column graph: Utilisation of both the X-axis and the Y-axis is important. The factor that affects the data or lends significance to it is entered on the x-axis. The effect of this factor is entered on the Y-axis. Ensure that the learners name the X- and Y-axes correctly and that they have a thorough grasp of the importance of it: X-axis: plant species; Y-axis: numbers representing each plant species.

Complete the following column-related question:

  1. C
  2. D
  3. B
  4. A
  5. E
  6. G
  7. F

Questions & Answers

what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Natural sciences grade 8. OpenStax CNX. Sep 12, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11050/1.1
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