Biodiversity and Contaminants

Students will be provided with a visual of a healthy ecosystem compared to an unhealthy ecosystem, to which they will then research how different species within that area are affected by contaminants.

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Biodiversity and Contaminants


•Biodiversity and Contaminants.pdf •Ecosystem Images.pdf

Contaminants in the Environment as a Threat to Biodiversity

  1. Students learn about the impact of contaminants on biodiversity by familiarizing themselves with the following study, using the summary provided in Biodiversity and Contaminants.pdf.
    • Patterson, S. A. (2019). The toxic effects of oil sands contaminants on developing amphibians [Master’s thesis, Queen’s University]. QSpace Library.

By reviewing study students learn that bitumen has a powerful impact on many species including wood frogs. This is especially problematic since wood frogs have many important functions in an ecosystem including, helping to control insect populations, acting as a food source, filtering water as tadpoles, eating pest species, etc.

2. Students engage in activity outlined in Biodiversity and Contaminants.pdf that helps students visualize biodiversity and gives them the opportunity to research how contaminants affect members of an ecosystem. Through activity students also reflect on what this means for the overall functioning and health of an ecosystem.