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Harnessing Biodiversity

The learning resources presented in these web pages explore the topic of biodiversity, ecosystem services and how humans can benefit from these provisions. These resources focus on biodiversity in vineyards in New Zealand as a reference for understanding this topic.

About the Learning Resources


An ecosystem is a community of living organisms including animals, plants and microorganisms, which interact with one another and with their non-living, physical environment. The biotic (living) and abiotic or non-living components such as weather, sun, soil, water and nutrients are linked together through nutrient cycles and energy flows.


These resources look at the range of services that ecosystems provide. Ecosystem Services can be defined as the benefits that humans receive from nature. We often take these services for granted, but they are vital for the functioning and survival of human societies. These resources explain the importance of biodiversity in supporting healthy ecosystems in the provision of these services. 


Scientists at the Bio-Protection Research Centre are focusing on increasing biodiversity in and around vineyards and pastoral farms with the goal of improving the variety, quantity and quality of ecosystem services. One of these important ecosystem services is Conservation Biological Control (CBC) - the management of pests and disease by modifying the environment to encourage the presence of natural enemies. 

Resource Links


What is Biodiversity?

A page for teachers and senior students summarising the key concepts associated with biodiversity.



Understanding Biodiversity: Case Study

Read this case study to learn about research conducted by the Bio-Protection Research Centre into increasing leafroller predators in New Zealand vineyards.



What's a Worm Worth?

This resource presents starter ideas on the value of earthworms as ecosystem service providers.



Discussion Questions

Resource questions designed to further discussion on the topic of biodiversity.


Question and Answer

Challenge Questions

Further questions on the subject of biodiversity designed to stimulate more in-depth conversation and learning.


Seminar Recording

An in-stream version of the seminar series the resources on these web pages originate from.



Seminar Paper

Download the seminar paper.



Links to Curriculum and Assessment of Learning

Information for teachers on how these resources link to current curriculum objectives.



Further Resources

Additional resources for teachers to further understand the resources presented in these web pages.