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Key concepts: Biology

Key concepts are the big ideas and understandings that we hope will remain with our students long after they have left school.

The following are key concepts/big ideas in biology:

All organisms share a common set of essential life processes

Because of their shared evolutionary history, all organisms share a common set of essential life processes (movement, respiration, sensitivity, growth, reproduction, excretion, and nutrition) and use the same genetic system to maintain continuity.

Organisms interact with each other and with their environment

Living systems are organised and regulate themselves at the cell, organism, and ecosystem levels. Each of these dynamic systems maintains stability in response to a changing environment and their responses impact in turn upon the environment.

Species arise, change, and become extinct over time

Evolution results in diverse adaptations to ensure survival. This diversity allows organisms to occupy different niches within an ecosystem.

Genetics maintain continuity plus allow for change

The inherited sequence of DNA underlies an organism's phenotype such as shape or blood type. Heritable mutations allow evolution or genetic change over time.

Last updated September 12, 2017