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Chapter 3: Ecosystem Ecology - Lesson 5: Response to Disturbance

Chapter 3: Ecosystem Ecology - Lesson 5: Response to Disturbance

  1. Explain how ecosystems respond to natural and anthropogenic disturbances.
  2. Discuss the values of ecosystem and how humans depend on them.
  1. Different ecosystems respond to disturbances (both natural and anthropogenic) in different ways.  A resistant ecosystem is one that experiences little change in flows of energy and matter after a disturbance.  A resilient ecosystem is one that returns rapidly to its original state after a disturbance.  Species diversity tends to be highest at intermediate levels of disturbance.
  2. Ecosystems have a variety of instrumental values that can directly benefit humans.  Ecosystem services include provisions that humans can use directly, such as food and medicine; regulation services that prevent drastic changes in environmental conditions; support systems that provide important services such as pollination and water filtration; resilience that allows ecosystems to continue functioning despite disturbances; and cultural services, including aesthetic value.  The intrinsic value of ecosystems derives from the philosophical or religious idea that ecosystems are inherently valuable and that we have a moral obligation to preserve them.
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Chapter 3 Lesson 3 Sticky Note Video

The last lesson for Chapter 3! Wooot!


Some disturbance can be beneficial, but too much causes ecosystem unsustainability.
An avalanche of mud crashes down a hillside, already dotted with the scars of previous slips. Rocks and muddy debris sluice through the village, pushing aside coconut palms and other plants, before plunging into the ocean. How could a disturbance like this be beneficial?

Ecosystem Services

How is biodiversity essential to humans? We couldn't survive without it! Biodiversity supplies food, shelter, medicine and so much more to humans.

WSQ Chapter 3 - Ecosystem Ecology - Lesson 5

Complete this WSQ after you watch Mrs. Schaelling's Chapter 3 Lesson 5 Video. This should be done before you come to class.

DOK Question Stems

Try to create most of your questions at a DOK Level 2 or 3. That way you're challenging your thinking.