Ecology Studies - Ecosystem Ecology - Revised
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The course Ecology Studies - Ecosystem Ecology begins by introducing you to the three broad categories of ecosystems based on their general environment. The course reviews the resources within these ecosystems which organisms compete for such as organic material, sunlight, and mineral nutrients. Having studied the course you will be able to identify the various critical factors influencing community dynamics such as the components of its physical and geographic environment.
Next, the course shows you how organisms acquire energy and how that energy is passed from one organism to another through food webs and their constituent food chains. The course goes through the different trophic levels, such as producers, consumers and decomposers, and how energy transfers affect ecosystem structures and dynamics. The structure of ecosystems can be visualized and modelled with ecological pyramids to show the relative amounts of various parameters across trophic levels.
Finally, the course introduces you to the biogeochemical cycle, which is the process of recycling inorganic matter between living organisms and their environment. The six most common elements associated with organic molecules are covered explaining how mineral nutrients are cycled from one living organism to another, and between the biotic and abiotic world. You will also gain an understanding of how human activities have impacted these biogeochemical cycles and the potential consequences for society.
The course will be ideal for students or professionals who want to develop a career in ecosystem research or for those who simply want to learn more about ecosystem structures, and how energy is transferred between trophic levels.Start Course Now
After completing this course you will be able to:
- Describe the basic types of ecosystems on Earth.
- Explain the methods that ecologists use to study ecosystem structure and dynamics.
- Explain how organisms acquire energy in a food web and in associated food chains.
- Explain how the efficiency of energy transfers between trophic levels affects ecosystem structure and dynamics.
- Discuss trophic levels and how ecological pyramids are used to model them.
- Define the biogeochemical cycles of water, carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulphur.
- Explain how human activities have impacted these cycles.
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