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You are reading an older version of this FlexBook® textbook: Human Biology Ecology Teacher's Guide Go to the latest version.

Key Idea

  • Organisms need specific resources in specific amounts to survive and reproduce.


This section continues the topic of resources by distinguishing between the three related but separate topics of resources, niches, and habitats. Through the simulation of a bobcat population students learn about resource requirements and carrying capacity. Students learn that all organisms need habitats that provide resources such as food, water, and space. Throughout the section students are reminded that they also require specific resources in order to survive and they are asked to identify the specific requirements of their own niche.



explain that all organisms need certain resources in specific amounts to survive and reproduce.

identify the factors that determine the carrying capacity of a specific area.

define the term niche and explain their own niche requirements.

predict the size of a population based on the available resources.

analyze graphs representing a population curve.

evaluate the importance of space for the survival of plants.


carrying capacity, habitat, niche, resources, species

Student Materials

Activity 7-1: Too Many Bobcats

Per student

  • Resource
  • Activity Report
  • Sandwich-size plastic bag
  • Masking tape

Per class

  • Colored construction paper: red, green, black, yellow, orange, and blue, cut into 20 rectangles of each color (for a class of 30 students)
  • Large open area-large enough to scatter 120 paper rectangles

Teacher Materials

Activity 7-1: Too Many Bobcats

  • Activity Report Answer Key

Advance Preparation

See Activity 7-1 in the Student Edition

Make sure you have an area available to conduct the activity.

Enrichment Activities

Enrichment 7-1: What's in a Niche?

Students learn about the components of a niche by listing things they would need in various habitat types.

Image Attributions




6 , 7 , 8

Date Created:

Feb 23, 2012

Last Modified:

Apr 29, 2014
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