Environment 4: Grade 11

Grade 11: Eco Curriculum


B. The significance of water masses (Context: Africa and the World)
■ The hydrological cycle.
■ Water masses of Africa: oceans, permanent ice, lakes, swamps, etc.
■ Oceans as a major source of moisture and oxygen for the atmosphere, protein food and energy supply.
■ Role of oceans: climate control, world trade and as a source of food.
■ Impact of humans on oceans (e.g. pollution, over-exploitation).
■ Forms of exploitation and its impact on sustainable living (e.g. commercial and subsistence fishing, mining, dumping of waste).
■ Coastal environments: natural forces – erosion, deposition.
■ Hazards and environmental management of hydrological systems (e.g. rivers, coastal resource management).

C. Ecosystems (biotic and abiotic components) (Context: Africa and the World)
■ Concepts (e.g. biosphere, ecosystem, biome, food webs and chains).
■ Ecological processes (e.g. energy flow, nutrient cycling, self-regulation).
■ Soil processes, soil profile and soil forming factors.
■ Human impact on ecosystems and the consequences.
■ Vegetation regions in Africa:
• distribution;
• comparing different biomes;
• human impact on different biomes.
■ Environmental relationships (influence of climate, soil, topography, veld fires on biomes).

E. People and their needs (Context: Africa)
■ Resource use and management:
• resources and their uses;
• distribution and utilisation of renewable and non-renewable natural resources;
• concepts of ‘resources
• extraction of raw materials, the conflicts and opportunities that are created;
• land use conflicts in national parks;
• the impact of values and attitudes of people affected.
■ Energy use and management:
• increasing demand for energy;
• relative and changing importance of fossil fuels, nuclear power and alternative energy sources;
• the environmental costs of energy provision;
• causes and effects of energy production related to pollution;
• causes and consequences of acid rain and the importance of international co-operation;
• environmental effects of resource and energy consumption on world temperatures;
• sustainable energy principles and approaches – consider new forms of energy and approaches to energyconservation.

Human influences on environment

Food pyramids
Define a food pyramid
Distinguish between pyramids of numbers, biomass and energy
Construct food pyramids involving humans as one of the consumers

Effect of environmental changes on food pyramids
 Analyse data on the changes in human population size over a period of time
 Using examples of food pyramids, describe the effects of human overpopulation on them
 List THREE examples of situations where humans may use pesticides
 Using examples of food chains, describe the effects of pesticides on food pyramids
 Discuss advantages and disadvantages of using pesticides
 Explain what is meant by culling
 List at least THREE reasons why animals are culled
 Using examples, describe the impact of culling on food pyramids
 Research attitudes of  people towards culling
 Describe the effects on food pyramids of at least ONE example of each of the following types of pollution
o Air pollution
o Land pollution
o Water pollution
 State what is meant by deforestation
 Explain why deforestation occurs
 Describe the effects of deforestation on food production and consumers
Management of cause and effects of deforestation
Review factors that may lead to deforestation

Describe the effects of deforestation such as the impact on:
 Habitat of organisms
 Soil erosion
 Carbon cycle
 Water cycle

Explain ways in which deforestation can be reduced such as through:
 Re-use of wood products eg. paper
 Re-cycling wood products
 Using alternate sources for fuel other than wood

Explain ways in which the effects of deforestation can be managed such as through
 Harvesting forest products in a more sustainable way
 Replanting to replace the trees that have been removed/destroyed
 Encouraging tree planting in schools and in local communities

Discuss issues around the need to balance the need for deforestation with the need to remove these forests to satisfy human needs eg. agriculture, houses etc.



Population studies

Define a population as a group of organisms of the same species which live in the same habitat so that random interbreeding takes place
Define a species as a group of organisms which share the same characteristics and are capable of interbreeding
Define a community as a group of populations living together in the same habitat.

Characteristics of populations
Outline characteristics of populations in terms of:

 Habitat
o Outline the large variety of habitat types that are occupied by populations
o Explain why particular populations can exist in certain habitat types only
o Briefly explain the impact of habitat destruction on the survival of populations

 Size and Density
o Differentiate between population size and population density
o Explain the importance of determining population size such as in:
 determining the extinction status of organisms
 planning for the utilization of resources
 making decisions on culling
 setting limits for fishing
 making decisions increasing the stock of grazing animals on a farm (based on carrying capacity)

o List various factors that may influence the size of a population

 Distribution
o State that populations are found in habitats that may be distributed in different parts of the world
o State that the distribution of populations is mainly influenced by climate
o Use one example of a plant and an animal population to show their distribution in different parts of the world


Social behaviour

Explain what is meant by each of the following concepts as it relates to the survival of populations
 Preservation
 Conservation
 Sustainability

Differentiate between instinctive and socially learnt behaviour as it relates to the survival of populations

Examples of social behaviours
Explain how each of the following social behaviours contributes to the survival of populations:
 Predation
 Competition
 Courtship/Mating behaviour
 Altruism
 Territoriality
 Interaction of successive broods
 Analyse given data and findings to evaluate the impact of particular social behaviours on the survival of populations

Managing populations

Significance and value of biodiversity
Discuss the significance and value of biodiversity to ecosystem function and human survival for each of the following:
• food
• materials for clothing and shelter
• energy for transport and everyday use
• medicines

Threats to biodiversity
Describe how any THREE of the following poses a threat to biodiversity:
• Deforestation
• Diseases
• Agricultural practices
• Natural disasters
• Pollution
• Desertification
• Alien invasive plants
• Over-exploitation of resources

Name at least TWO plants and TWO animals that have become extinct over the past years
Name at least TWO plants and TWO animals that are considered as endangered species  in the red data list
Discuss the impact of the over-use of  plants and animals for muti and traditional purposes as well as for Western medicine and suggest strategies that could be used to manage this practice

Biodiversity of plants and animals and their conservation
Conduct research on ONE example of a successful conservation strategy to address the following:
• State which plant or animal resource was conserved
• Explain why there was a need for conservation
• List reasons for the success of the conservation strategy
• Describe some challenges experienced, if any
• Explain the impact of the selected strategy on biodiversity

Discuss legislation pertaining to ONE example of conservation and sustainable use of indigenous fauna and flora such as:
• Permits for fishing
• banning the catching of undersized fish
• limiting numbers of fish caught
• permits for cycads
hunting regulations