These resources have been reviewed and selected by STEM Learning’s team of education specialists for factual accuracy and relevance to teaching STEM subjects in UK schools.

Biodiversity *suitable for home teaching*

This colourful leaflet from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) looks at what biodiversity is and why it matters. It also explains how human activities threaten the natural environment, endangering species and habitats and what we are doing about the problem. The resource includes a list of research centres funded by NERC and other agencies and programmes investigating biodiversity. [b]Scientific certainties and uncertainties[/b] When researchers analysed a small sample of water from the Sargasso Sea in early 2004 they found it contained 148 new species of bacteria. The sample was taken from water famous for its lack of diversity. Modern scientific methods are changing our fundamental ideas about biodiversity. We are beginning to understand how little we know. Scientists believe that the sheer diversity of life is richer now than it has been in any other period in Earth's history. They know diversity naturally increases over time, then some catastrophe - an asteroid or volcanic eruption - reduces it for a while. The most famous mass extinction claimed the dinosaurs. Right now the world is losing huge numbers of plant and animal species and this loss is accelerating. It will soon approach previous mass extinction rates. But there is a big difference between the current loss of biodiversity and previous extinctions. Physical events caused mass extinctions in the past. One life-form is overwhelmingly responsible for present-day extinctions - humans - you and me. NERC is a part of the Research Councils UK (RCUK) partnership of research councils.

Show health and safety information

Please be aware that resources have been published on the website in the form that they were originally supplied. This means that procedures reflect general practice and standards applicable at the time resources were produced and cannot be assumed to be acceptable today. Website users are fully responsible for ensuring that any activity, including practical work, which they carry out is in accordance with current regulations related to health and safety and that an appropriate risk assessment has been carried out.


Show downloads

Information on the permitted use of this resource is covered by the Category Three Content section in STEM Learning’s Terms and conditions.

Lists that tag this content

Interdependence, POSTED BY
Biodiversity, POSTED BY