Grade Level: 6-8
In this series of lessons, students will explore explanations for why treeline occurs on mountains. Students may explore a data-based approach, comparing temperature and precipitation data for two locations at different elevations. Students may investigate different life zones and how plants have adapted to life in these varied environmental conditions. Students may also investigate how climate change impacts alpine environments and what that means for the future of mountain plant communities.
Why is there a treeline? How can certain areas have similar climate but very different vegetation? How have different plants adapted to different elevations? How might climate change impact vegetation patterns on mountains?
You may use this phenomenon to explore the relationship between environmental conditions and elevation, life zones, adaptations to different ecosystems, and climate change’s impact on vegetation.
MS-LS1-4. Use argument based on empirical evidence and scientific reasoning to support an explanation for how characteristic animal behaviors and specialized plant structures affect the probability of successful reproduction of animals and plants respectively.
MS-LS2-4. Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.
Martha Inouye, Clare Gunshanen, Sienna Wessel, and Matthew Bisk