Sustaining Ecosystems

Life on Earth is supported by global ecosystems and the link between human wellbeing and ecosystem wellbeing is vital. This topic seeks to explore the distribution and characteristics of the Earth’s ecological wonders. Learners investigate the two contrasting ecosystems of tropical rainforests and polar environments, exploring physical cycles and processes that make these ecosystems distinctive, the threats posed to their existence and how humans are attempting to manage them for a more sustainable future.

4.1 Why are natural ecosystems important?

a. What are ecosystems?

4.2 Why should tropical rainforests matter to us?

a. What biodiversity exists in tropical rainforests?

b. Why are tropical rainforests being ‘exploited’ and how can this be managed sustainably?

4.3 Is there more to polar environments than ice?

a. What is it like in Antarctica and the Arctic?

b. How are humans seeking a more sustainable solution for polar environments?