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GRADE 9 SCIENCE POINTERS GRADE 9 SCIENCE POINTERS

BIODIVERSITY BIODIVERSITY

The term biodiversity refers to the variety of life on Earth at all its The term biodiversity refers to the variety of life on Earth at all its
levels, from genes to ecosystems, and the ecological and levels, from genes to ecosystems, and the ecological and
evolutionary processes that sustain it. Biodiversity includes not only evolutionary processes that sustain it. Biodiversity includes not only
species we consider rare, threatened, or endangered, but every species we consider rare, threatened, or endangered, but every
living thing—even organisms we still know little about, such as living thing—even organisms we still know little about, such as
microbes, fungi, and invertebrates. Biodiversity is important microbes, fungi, and invertebrates. Biodiversity is important
everywhere; species and habitats in your area as well as those in everywhere; species and habitats in your area as well as those in
distant lands all play a role in maintaining healthy ecosystems. distant lands all play a role in maintaining healthy ecosystems.

Why is Biodiversity Important? Why is Biodiversity Important?


We need biodiversity to satisfy basic needs like food, drinking water, We need biodiversity to satisfy basic needs like food, drinking water,
fuel, shelter, and medicine. Much of the world's population still uses fuel, shelter, and medicine. Much of the world's population still uses
plants and animals as a primary source of medicine, and in the plants and animals as a primary source of medicine, and in the
United States alone, about 57% of the 150 most prescribed drugs United States alone, about 57% of the 150 most prescribed drugs
have their origins in biodiversity. Ecosystems provide services such have their origins in biodiversity. Ecosystems provide services such
as pollination, seed dispersal, climate regulation, water purification, as pollination, seed dispersal, climate regulation, water purification,
nutrient cycling, and control of agricultural pests. Many flowering nutrient cycling, and control of agricultural pests. Many flowering
plants depend on animals for pollination, and 30% of human crops plants depend on animals for pollination, and 30% of human crops
depend on the free services of pollinators. depend on the free services of pollinators.

EXTINCTION EXTINCTION

Extinction of a particular animal or plant species occurs when there Extinction of a particular animal or plant species occurs when there
are no more individuals of that species alive anywhere in the world - are no more individuals of that species alive anywhere in the world -
the species has died out. This is a natural part of evolution. the species has died out. This is a natural part of evolution.

Endangered animals and plants are at risk of extinction - there are Endangered animals and plants are at risk of extinction - there are
so few of them that they might soon be wiped out altogether. so few of them that they might soon be wiped out altogether.
Although some plants and animals have always evolved more Although some plants and animals have always evolved more
successfully than others, human activity is changing the world in successfully than others, human activity is changing the world in
such a way that many more animals and plants are endangered than such a way that many more animals and plants are endangered than
would otherwise be. would otherwise be.

PHOTOSYNTHESIS PHOTOSYNTHESIS

Photosynthesis is a process in which green plants use energy from Photosynthesis is a process in which green plants use energy from
the sun to transform water, carbon dioxide, and minerals into the sun to transform water, carbon dioxide, and minerals into
oxygen and organic compounds. It is one example of how people oxygen and organic compounds. It is one example of how people
and plants are dependent on each other in sustaining life. and plants are dependent on each other in sustaining life.

Photosynthesis happens when water is absorbed by the roots of Photosynthesis happens when water is absorbed by the roots of
green plants and is carried to the leaves by the xylem, and carbon green plants and is carried to the leaves by the xylem, and carbon
dioxide is obtained from air that enters the leaves through the dioxide is obtained from air that enters the leaves through the
stomata and diffuses to the cells containing chlorophyll. The green stomata and diffuses to the cells containing chlorophyll. The green
pigment chlorophyll is uniquely capable of converting the active pigment chlorophyll is uniquely capable of converting the active
energy of light into a latent form that can be stored (in food) and energy of light into a latent form that can be stored (in food) and
used when needed. used when needed.

Photosynthesis provides us with most of the oxygen we need in Photosynthesis provides us with most of the oxygen we need in
order to breathe. We, in turn, exhale the carbon dioxide needed by order to breathe. We, in turn, exhale the carbon dioxide needed by
plants. Plants are also crucial to human life because we rely on them plants. Plants are also crucial to human life because we rely on them
as a source of food for ourselves and for the animals that we eat. as a source of food for ourselves and for the animals that we eat.
PLANT RESPIRATION PLANT RESPIRATION

Plant respiration occurs in the mitochondria of each plant cell. First, Plant respiration occurs in the mitochondria of each plant cell. First,
glucose is oxidized. The chemical potential energy of its bond turns glucose is oxidized. The chemical potential energy of its bond turns
into the chemical potential bonds of an ATP molecule. The ATP into the chemical potential bonds of an ATP molecule. The ATP
molecule is then transported throughout the cell. The molecule's molecule is then transported throughout the cell. The molecule's
stored energy is utilized to complete tasks within the cell. stored energy is utilized to complete tasks within the cell.

Respiration and photosynthesis, the process by which plants make Respiration and photosynthesis, the process by which plants make
their own food, are chemically linked. Through photosynthesis, their own food, are chemically linked. Through photosynthesis,
plants use carbon dioxide and create oxygen. This means that plants use carbon dioxide and create oxygen. This means that
respiration can be thought of as photosynthesis in reverse. respiration can be thought of as photosynthesis in reverse.

One major difference between the two is that plants respire One major difference between the two is that plants respire
constantly, but only photosynthesize when they are in the light. In constantly, but only photosynthesize when they are in the light. In
dark conditions, a plant would respire, but not photosynthesize. The dark conditions, a plant would respire, but not photosynthesize. The
result would be that only oxygen would be taken in and carbon result would be that only oxygen would be taken in and carbon
dioxide given out. All living cells, including animal cells, respire. dioxide given out. All living cells, including animal cells, respire.
However, plant respiration should not be confused with breathing. However, plant respiration should not be confused with breathing.

CHEMICAL BONDS CHEMICAL BONDS


The world around us is made up of tiny units of matter called atoms. The world around us is made up of tiny units of matter called atoms.
How these atoms stick together to form substances is called How these atoms stick together to form substances is called
chemical bonding. chemical bonding.

Ionic Bonding Ionic bonding occurs when different elements trade Ionic Bonding Ionic bonding occurs when different elements trade
electrons such that both elements now have a full outer shell. electrons such that both elements now have a full outer shell.

Example: Here is an example showing lithium (which has 3 electrons Example: Here is an example showing lithium (which has 3 electrons
and 1 in the outer shell) and fluorine (which has 9 electrons and 7 in and 1 in the outer shell) and fluorine (which has 9 electrons and 7 in
the outer shell) trading an electron to form LiF or lithium fluoride. the outer shell) trading an electron to form LiF or lithium fluoride.
This is called an ionic bond. This is called an ionic bond.

Covalent Bonding In covalent bonding electrons are shared between Covalent Bonding In covalent bonding electrons are shared between
atoms rather than traded in order for the atoms of both elements to atoms rather than traded in order for the atoms of both elements to
gain full outer shells. Electrons are always shared in pairs. gain full outer shells. Electrons are always shared in pairs.

Example: An example of covalent bonding is the molecule of carbon Example: An example of covalent bonding is the molecule of carbon
dioxide. In this example carbon has 4 of 8 electrons in its outer shell dioxide. In this example carbon has 4 of 8 electrons in its outer shell
and oxygen has 6 of eight electrons. By combining two oxygen and oxygen has 6 of eight electrons. By combining two oxygen
atoms with one carbon atom, the atoms can share electrons such atoms with one carbon atom, the atoms can share electrons such
that each atom has a full outer shell. that each atom has a full outer shell.