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LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics

Core Idea

LS2:  Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics

LS2.A: Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems
LS2.B: Cycles of Matter and Energy Transfer in Ecosystems
LS2.C: Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning, and Resilience
LS2.D: Social Interactions and Group Behavior

Content aligned with middle school LS2

Content aligned with high school LS2


In middle school, students develop an understanding of the disciplinary core ideas in the life science domain. The middle school performance expectations build on the elementary performance expectations, as well as on students’ prior knowledge of physical and Earth sciences. In LS2: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics Relationship in Ecosystem, performance expectations are designed for students to create an understanding of how living and non-living components of an ecosystem interact and are utilized by organisms. Students should understand how matter and energy flow through ecosystems and how biotic and abiotic factors are interrelated.


High school performance expectations in the life sciences expand on middle school performance expectations, allowing students to develop and refine their understanding of life science concepts. The high school performance expectations emphasize students’ proficiency in engaging in practices and using crosscutting concepts to organize and understand information while leaving room for more expanded and in-depth study in upper level high school courses. Performance expectations in high school LS2: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics Relationship in Ecosystem call for students to understand how and why organisms interact with their environments and the effects of these interactions. By the end of high school, students are expected to quantify these relationships using mathematical reasoning and modeling.


LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics

Middle School

MS-LS2-1 Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem.

MS-LS2-2 Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems.


LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics

High School

HS-LS2-3 Construct and revise an explanation based on evidence for the cycling of matter and flow of energy in aerobic and anaerobic conditions.

HS-LS2-6 Evaluate the claims, evidence, and reasoning that the complex interactions in ecosystems maintain relatively consistent numbers and types of organisms in stable conditions, but changing conditions may result in a new ecosystem.

HS-LS2-8 Evaluate the evidence for the role of group behavior on individual and species’ chances to survive and reproduce.

Special Feature Type:

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.