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Topics Explored: Ecological Succession, Climate Change, Human Activity on Biodiversity

This case study explores the declining population of the ruffed grouse in its native range due to loss of habitat. Young forest during secondary succession is ideal for the ruffed grouse and as forests mature in the United States and Canada, the ruffed grouse is running out of real estate to call home.  Answer key included.

Case Study: Ruffed Grouse (Teacher & Student Edition)

  • ZIP file containing 2 PDF files 
    (1 Teacher Edition and 1 Student Edition)

  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS):
    HS-LS2-7. Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.

    AP® Environmental Science Learning Objectives:
    2.5 Explain how natural disruptions, both short and long-term, impact an ecosystem.
    2.7 Describe ecological succession. Describe the effect of ecological succession on ecosystems.
    9.5 Explain how changes in climate, both short- and long-term, impact ecosystems.
    9.10 Explain how human activities affect biodiversity and strategies to combat the problem.

    AP® Environmental Science Practices:
    1: Explain environmental concepts, processes, and models presented in written format. 
    2: Analyze visual representations of environmental concepts and processes. 
    3: Analyze sources of information about environmental issues. 
    4: Analyze research studies that test environmental principles. 
    5: Analyze and interpret quantitative data represented in tables, charts, and graphs.
    6: Apply quantitative methods to address environmental concepts.
    7: Propose and justify solutions to environmental problems.

    IB Environmental Systems Learning Objectives:
    3.2 Environmental change gives new challenges to species, which drives the evolution of diversity.
    3.3 While global biodiversity is difficult to quantify, it is decreasing rapidly due to human activity.Classification of species conservation status can provide a useful tool in the conservation ofbiodiversity.
    3.4 There are various approaches to the conservation of biodiversity, each with associated strengths andlimitations.
    7.2 Climate change has been a normal feature of the Earth’s history, but human activity hascontributed to recent changes. There has been significant debate about the causes of climatechange. Climate change causes widespread and significant impacts on a global scale.
    7.3 Mitigation attempts to reduce the causes of climate change. Adaptation attempts to manage theimpacts of climate change.

    AP® is a registered trademark registered by the College Board®. IB® is a trademark registered by the International Baccalaureate Organization®. This work/product/service has been developed independently from and is not endorsed by the College Board® or the International Baccalaureate Organization®. 

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