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Ecology Studies - Population and Community Ecology Free Course

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  • Description
  • Outcome
  • Certification
  • The free online course in Ecology Studies – Population and Community Ecology introduces you to patterns of population distribution, population growth and species relationships and behaviours. You will learn about species populations, how life patterns evolve through natural selection, and how species behaviours are influenced by the environment. The course begins by introducing you to the tools that ecologists use to measure the characteristics of populations such as size, density, dispersion pattern and age structure. You will also learn how life tables are used to calculate population life expectancy. You will learn to identify the environmental limits to population growth, how populations with unlimited resources grow exponentially and, when resources become limited why populations then follow a logistic growth curve. You will gain an understanding of population dynamics and regulation based on density-dependent and density-independent factors and learn how the age structure of a population allows us to predict population growth. You will also learn about the characteristics used to categorize species. Finally, you are introduced to community ecology where you will learn the features of community structure and keystone species, and how some species can form symbiotic relationships within an ecological community. You will be introduced to behavioural biology and learn about behaviours such as imprinting and habituation, conditioning, and cognitive learning and methods of communication. The course will be of great interest to professionals working in the areas of ecology or environmental science, and who would like to learn more about the social and environmental consequences of population growth, and the different characteristics of species behaviour.

  • After completing this course you will be able to:
    - Explain how ecologists measure population size and density;
    - Describe three different patterns of population distribution;
    - Use life tables to calculate mortality rates;
    - Give examples of exponential and logistic growth in natural populations;
    - Explain how the carrying capacity of a habitat may change;
    - Define density-dependent and density-independent growth regulation;
    - Explain exponential and logistic growth in wild animal populations;
    - Define how natural selection and environmental adaptation leads to the evolution of particular life-history patterns;
    - Explain how humans have expanded the carrying capacity of their habitat;
    - Relate population growth and age structure to economic development;
    - Discuss the long-term implications of unchecked human population growth;
    - Explain the predator-prey cycle;
    - Define the competitive exclusion principle;
    - Discuss community structure and succession;
    - Compare innate and learned behaviour;
    - Explain how species use energy for mating displays and other behaviours;
    - Differentiate between various mating systems;
    - Define the various ways that species learn.

  • All Alison courses are free to study. To successfully complete a course you must score 80% or higher in each course assessments. Upon successful completion of a course, you can choose to make your achievement formal by purchasing an official Alison Diploma, Certificate or PDF.

    Having an official Alison document is a great way to share your success. Plus it’s:

    • Ideal for including in CVs, job applications and portfolios
    • An indication of your ability to learn and achieve high results
    • An incentive to continue to empower yourself through learning
    • A tangible way of supporting the Alison mission to empower people everywhere through education.

Modules List( 4 )
  • ECOLOGY STUDIES - POPULATION AND COMMUNITY ECOLOGY...
  • Ecology Studies - Population and Community Ecology Course Resource Documents
  • Module 1: Patterns of Population Distribution
    • Learning Outcomes
    • Population Demography
    • Life Histories and Population Growth
    • Environmental Limits to Population Growth
    • Lesson Summary
  • Module 2: Regulation and Dynamics of Population Growth
    • Learning Outcomes
    • Population Dynamics and Regulation
    • Human Population Growth
    • Population Dynamics
    • Lesson Summary
  • Module 3: Relationships between Species
    • Learning Outcomes
    • Species Relationships
    • Community Ecology
    • Behavioral Biology
    • Lesson Summary
  • END OF COURSE ASSESSMENT
  • Module 4: Ecology Studies - Population and Community Ecology Assessment
    • Population and Community Ecology Assessment
Topics List ( 5 )
Module 1: Patterns of Population Distribution
This module covers the patterns of population distribution and how these patterns evolve through natural selection, so that they allow species to adapt to their environment to obtain the resources they need to successfully reproduce. The main factors in relation to the environmental limits to population growth are also covered, such as resources and the carrying capacity of its environment.
Topics List ( 5 )
Module 2: Regulation and Dynamics of Population Growth
In this module the main focus is on the regulation and dynamics of population growth in relation to the capacity of a habitat in wild animal populations. The module also explains the various characteristics and implications of unchecked human population growth and how humanity could have dire long-term effects on our environment.
Topics List ( 5 )
Module 3: Relationships between Species
Module 3 covers the relationships between species, such as how species may form symbiotic relationships and community structure. The module also focuses on how environmental and genetic factors shape behaviour including mating systems, imprinting and methods of communication. The movement and migration patterns of animal species are also covered.
Topics List ( 1 )
Module 4: Ecology Studies - Population and Community Ecology Assessment
You must score 80% or more to pass this assessment.
Course Features
  • Duration

    2-3 Hours

  • Publisher

    OpenStax College

  • Video

    Yes

  • Audio

    Yes

  • Assessment

    Yes

  • Certification

    Yes

  • Price

    Free

  • Reward

    50 Pts

  • Responsive

    No

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