Introduction to Ecology
Learn more about the different types of ecosystems, terrestrial and aquatic biomes, and the effects of climate change on biodiversity.
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Learn about the different types of ecosystems, terrestrial and aquatic biomes, and the effects of climate change on biodiversity by studying the course Introduction to Ecology.
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The course first introduces you to the scope of ecology and biogeography with a focus on the distribution of plant and animal species and their impact on the terrestrial environment. You will learn how to differentiate between ecological patterns and processes at different scales and levels of biological organisation (population, community and ecosystem). Next, you will learn to identify and recognize the distinguishing characteristics of terrestrial and aquatic biomes. You will gain an understanding of what controls animal and plant distribution, abundance and biodiversity. You will learn how plants and animals absorb energy and nutrients from the ecosystem around them as well as how species interact with each other. You will learn about the biology of various habitats from marine and freshwater to terrestrial habitats and the soil. Finally, you are introduced to climate and the effects of global climate change where you will learn about the interaction between humans, animals and the environment with specific reference to the effects of modern technological advances. You will gain an understanding of the role ecology plays in conservation, wetland and natural resource management, forestry, agriculture and fisheries, as well as the climatological challenges faced by society.
The course will be ideal for professionals working in the area of biology, ecology or environmental science, for students who wish to pursue a career in the sciences, or for those who simply want to learn more about building a sustainable existence on this planet. This course will also be of great interest to anyone who would like to learn more about ecological diversity and the distribution of organisms in the global ecosystem around them or those who are concerned about their impact on the environment.
Module 1: Introduction to Ecology and Biogeography
The Scope of Ecology
Biogeography and Diversity
Population Growth and Extinction Risk
Module 3: The Effects of Global Climate Change
Ecology and the Environment
Biodiversity and Climate Change
Module 4: Introduction to Ecology Assessment
Module 2: Introduction to Terrestrial and Aquatic Biomes
After completing this course you will be able to: - Define ecology and the four levels of ecological research; - Recognize the relationship between components of the environment; - Recognize distinguishing characteristics of each of the major terrestrial biomes; - Compare and contrast the characteristics of the ocean zones; - Define global climate change; - Describe three natural factors affecting long-term global climate; - and list two or more greenhouse gases and describe their role in the greenhouse effect.
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Ecology is a branch of biology which studies the interactions among organisms and their environment. Topics of interest for ecologists include the biodiversity, distribution, and populations of organisms, as well as the cooperation and competition that occurs within and between species. This free online ecology course will introduce you to ecology with easy to understand, interesting examples. This course is ideal for students with an interest in the sciences, or anybody with an interest in pursuing a career in biology or ecology.
The best free online ecology courses available on Alison include:
Each of the online ecology courses on Alison are free, as are all of Alison's online courses. Alison's learners do not have to pay anything to take these courses unless they want a digital or physical copy of the course certificate.