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Geography (Year 12) - Geography Knowledge

Adrienne Reeder

The concept of the environment

The environment can be defined as the total of all the living and non-living elements and their effects on human life. This includes anything that acts upon an organism or an ecological community and helps determine other organisms’ form and/or survival. While it most commonly is biotic elements that affect the environment, such as animals, plants, forests, fisheries and birds, the environment is also affected by abiotic elements, including water, sunlight, land, air and fire.

Natural biomes

Natural biomes are biogeographical units consisting of a biological community formed in response to the physical environment in which they are found and a shared regional climate. Biomes may span more than one continent. Biome is a broader term than habitat and can comprise a variety of habitats.

Anthropogenic biomes

Anthropogenic biomes, also called human biomes, are the globally significant ecological patterns created by the constant interactions between humans and ecosystems. They are formed by the global ways humans affect their environment and their use of the land long-term.

Ecosystem structure

This includes the organisms and physical features of a particular environment; this consists of the amount and distribution of nutrients in a specific habitat. An ecosystem structure can also provide information about the assessed area's climate.

An ecosystem is a geographic area where plants, animals, other organisms, weather, and landscape work together to form a life bubble. Ecosystems contain biotic or living parts, abiotic factors, and nonliving parts. Biotic factors include plants, animals, and other organisms. Abiotic factors include rocks, temperature, and humidity.

Biodiversity loss

Biodiversity loss refers to the decline or disappearance of biological diversity, understood as the variety of living things that inhabit the planet, its different levels of biological organisation and their genetic variability as the natural patterns present in ecosystems. Biodiversity loss includes the worldwide extinction of other species, as well as the local reduction or loss of species in a particular habitat, resulting in a loss of biological diversity, described as the loss of life on Earth at various levels, ranging from reductions in the genetic diversity to the collapse of entire ecosystems. In addition to its intrinsic value, biodiversity underpins ecosystem services, providing the backbone of the global economy. 


This is the ongoing capacity of the earth to maintain life. Sustainable living patterns meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. In the Australian Curriculum: Science, the Sustainability priority provides contexts for investigating and understanding chemical, biological, physical and Earth and space systems. Students explore various designs that operate at different times and spatial scales.

LOCATION– the position of something on the earth’s surface.

SPACE – The physical gap or distance between two objects.

PLACE – A specific point on earth with human and physical characteristics distinguishing it from other sites.

PATTERN –The arrangement of objects on the earth’s surface in relationship to one another

REGIONALISATION –The organisation of the earth’s surface into distinct areas that are viewed as different from other areas.

GLOBALISATION - the expansion of economic, political, and cultural activities to the point that they reach and impact many world areas.

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