Australian National Botanic Gardens

What affects the health of our aquatic ecosystems?

Survey two of the Gardens’ freshwater ponds to identify factors that influence the health of their biological communities.

Students will:

  • sample water
  • complete a vegetation assessment
  • use a key to identify macroinvertebrates and aquatic plant life
  • learn how to identify indicator species

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Suitable for

  • Tick icon Years 7–10
  • Tick icon Years 11–12


1 hour


$8.00 per student

Maximum number of students


Curriculum links

Year 7

  • ACSSU111: Classification helps organise the diverse group of organisms
  • ACSSU112: Interactions between organisms, including the effects of human activities can be represented by food chains and food webs.

Year 9

  • ACSSU176: Ecosystems consist of communities of interdependent organisms and abiotic components of the environment; matter and energy flow through these systems.

Year 11/12

  • ACSBL003: Conduct investigations, including using ecosystem surveying techniques, safely, competently and methodically for the collection of valid and reliable data
  • ACSBL006: Select, construct and use appropriate representations, including classification keys, food webs and biomass pyramids, to communicate conceptual understanding, solve problems and make predictions
  • ACSBL016: Biological classification is hierarchical and based on different levels of similarity of physical features, methods of reproduction and molecular sequences
  • ACSBL019: Ecosystems are diverse, composed of varied habitats and can be described in terms of their component species, species interactions and the abiotic factors that make up the environment
  • ACSBL020: Relationships and interactions between species in ecosystems include predation, competition, symbiosis and disease
  • ACSBL024: Keystone species play a critical role in maintaining the structure of the community; the impact of a reduction in numbers or the disappearance of keystone species on an ecosystem is greater than would be expected based on their relative abundance or total biomass.