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Introduction to Adaptations for Survival

LS4: Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity: 
How can there be so many similarities among organisms yet so many different kinds of plants, animals, and microorganisms? How does biodiversity affect humans?


LS4.C Adaptation: How does the environment influence populations of organisms over multiple generations?

Learning goal by the end of grade 5: Changes in an organism’s habitat are sometimes beneficial to it and sometimes harmful. For any particular environment, some kinds of organisms survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.


Ocean Literacy Principles

Principle 5:The ocean supports a great diversity of life and ecosystems.

Ocean Literacy Fundamental Concept: Ocean biology provides many unique examples of life cycles, adaptations, and important relationships among organisms (symbiosis, predator-prey dynamics, and energy transfer) that do not occur on land. (OLP5d)


Ocean Literacy Fundamental Concept: The ocean provides a vast living space with diverse and unique ecosystems from the surface through the water column and down to, and below, the seafloor. Most of the living space on Earth is in the ocean. (OLP5e)


Ocean Literacy Fundamental Concept: Ocean ecosystems are defined by environmental factors and by the community of organisms living there. Ocean life is not evenly distributed through time or space due to differences in abiotic factors such as oxygen, salinity, temperature, pH, light, nutrients, pressure, substrate, and circulation. A few regions of the ocean support the most abundant life on Earth, while most of the ocean supports very little life. (OLP5f)


Ocean Literacy Fundamental Concept: There are deep ocean ecosystems that are independent of energy from sunlight and photosynthetic organisms. Hydrothermal vents, submarine hot springs, and methane cold seeps rely only on chemical energy and chemosynthetic organisms to support life. (OLP5g)


Ocean Literacy Fundamental Concept: Tides, waves, predation, substrate, and other factors cause vertical zonation patterns along the coast; density, pressure, and light levels cause vertical zonation patterns in the open ocean. Zonation patterns influence organisms’ distribution and diversity. (OLP5h)


Ocean Literacy Fundamental Concept: Estuaries provide important and productive nursery areas for many marine and aquatic species. (OLP5i)


These concepts will be explored in this unit through the following activities and investigations:

Representative Image: 
Exploring Our Fluid Earth, a product of the Curriculum Research & Development Group (CRDG), College of Education. University of Hawaii, 2011. This document may be freely reproduced and distributed for non-profit educational purposes.