Support materials only that illustrate some possible contexts for exploring Science as a Human Endeavour concepts in relation to Science Understanding content.
Indigenous knowledge of environmental change and interactions between abiotic and biotic elements of ecosystems in local contexts has developed over thousands of years and provides valuable data for understanding ecosystem dynamics (ACSBL009). Some Indigenous knowledge is represented in Indigenous art and can include evidence of past biodiversity and climate change that supports data from the fossil record. Indigenous knowledge also includes land management practices that can maintain ecosystems at specific successional points. These practices are often used to complement practices in conservation areas, where land management decisions reflect scientific, social, cultural and ethical considerations (ACSBL011).
Southeast Asia is a global epicentre for marine diversity; the establishment of marine reserves aims to contribute to the long-term conservation of marine ecosystems and protect marine biodiversity. Identification and classification of marine reserve areas requires consideration of enforcement logistics, the multiple uses of the area (for example, fishing, recreation, tourism), indigenous peoples’ usage rights, and the extent of the area required to contribute to local and global biodiversity conservation (ACSBL011). Scientific knowledge based on local data collection and analysis, computer simulation of future scenarios and analysis of analogous scenarios is required to analyse these factors, classify areas and predict the likelihood that the reserve will successfully protect marine biodiversity (ACSBL013).
The concept of a keystone species, a species that is particularly important in maintaining the structure of an ecological community, was first introduced by Robert T Paine in the late 1960s. Data supporting the theory has been collected by a large number of scientists from across a wide range of ecosystems and for a wide range of species (ACSBL009). Some biologists have advocated for keystone species to be special targets for conservation efforts and keystone species theory has informed many conservation strategies. However there are differing views about the effectiveness of single-species conservation (such as keystone species, flagship species or umbrella species) in maintaining complex ecosystem dynamics (ACSBL012).