Assessment Schedule – 2009 Biology: Describe animal behaviour and plant responses in relation to environmental factors (90716) Evidence statement

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NCEA Level 3 Biology (90716) 2009 — page of

Assessment Schedule – 2009

Biology: Describe animal behaviour and plant responses in relation to environmental factors (90716)

Evidence statement


Evidence for Achievement

Evidence for Achievement with Merit

Evidence for Achievement with Excellence



Innate behaviour is described as inherited / genetic.


Learned behaviour is described as behaviour copied from parents or as a result of parental care.

Explains that migratory activity cannot be learned from parents as they die along the way / happens across generations / breeding along the way.


Migratory activity is innate as it persists even though the parents have died.


Describes the stimuli that trigger migratory behaviour as change in day length / photoperiod.

Migration provides better food AND reproductive success.

Only the strongest / fittest will survive, strengthening the gene pool.



(As an epiphyte) the rata has access to increased sunlight / photosynthesis at canopy level.


(As an epiphyte) the young rata can put its energy into developing leaves.


Defines a commensal relationship where one plant gains and the other is neither harmed nor benefited.


Recognises exploitation / antibiosis / competition is the relationship between the rata and rimu when the rata is mature.

Commensalism is explained in terms of the rata.


Rata adaptations are explained as providing a means to live in the branches of the rimu, e.g. water retention in swollen roots, roots grow down towards the ground.


Change is explained – the Rata starts off commensal and then changes to be an antibiosis / harmful relationship as the rata kills the tree

Consequence for the rata – goes from epiphyte habit to canopy tree, which requires significant changes in structure.


Consequence for the rimu – rimu is killed and replaced by rata rather than another rimu.


Rimu cannot evolve ability to compete because it has reached reproductive maturity before the rata has harmed the tree.

e.g. after having reproduced, the mature tree would have fallen so light was available to the rimu’s seedlings. However, the rata has replaced the rimu so continues to shade the rimu seedlings

e.g. improved resources for rata when rimu dies


Territoriality is described as area that is defended.


Cooperative interaction is described as members of the group helping to raise the young.


Competition is described as a lose-lose relationship for organisms when there are limited resources.


Territorial behaviour is recognised as specific to bush-dwelling starlings / cooperative-breeding to savannah dwelling starlings.

Explains that different habitats effect different behaviours in the birds

Eg the Savannah environment selects for cooperative breeding because in poor years relatives can help pool resources for breeding / kin selection

Eg cooperative behaviour in the savannah effects safety in numbers

Eg in the Bush environment breeding pair behaviour is beneficial because a territory can be defended to reduce competition.

Discussion of the behaviour evaluates savannah or bush behaviours,

Eg cooperative breeding is selected for in the savannah because in both plentiful and drought years this will enable persistence of the group over many generations despite the climate of a given year. The birds with cooperative breeding behaviour will be selected for as it is the most successful reproductive strategy in the savannah.

Eg territorial behaviour is selected for as it is beneficial to bush dwelling birds for all generations since the bush environment resource base is more stable. The breeding pair with the best resources is the most successful reproducer.



Defines parasite as an organism that lives on or in a living thing.


gains energy / nutrients / food from that living thing.

Explains the partial parasite relationship in that the mistletoe is able to photosynthesise / it has leaves.


Defines mutualism as a relationship in which both organisms benefit.

Explains mistletoe gains advantage by living in the canopy layer it can gain light / access to (nectar feeding) pollinators / birds

or gain water / nutrients from its host.


In a mutualistic relationship with birds, mistletoe provides nectar to the birds and the birds pollinate the flowers.

Disadvantage to host plant discussed

Eg mistletoe robs host of nutrients and water / weighs down host branch / shades host leaves.


Advantage to the mistletoe is that it is only pollinated by one type of bird


Advantage to the tui is reproductive success.

Judgment Statement


Achievement with Merit

Achievement with Excellence

6 A

5 M

3 E + 1 M + 1 other

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