Introduction to Ecosystems
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If we don’t grasp why ecosystems function, it becomes harder to determine possible reasons for when they don’t, and makes it difficult to identify possible environmental threats to humans.
In this course you will discover how organisms are linked together by complex interrelationships, how such links are studied and how the physical properties of a particular habitat interact with the organisms that inhabit it. Using case studies, you will come to learn how knowledge of ecosystems leads to understanding of their individual importance, and how they can be preserved.
All Open University science courses presented on FutureLearn are produced with the kind support of Dangoor Education.
Find out more in David Robinson’s post for the FutureLearn blog: “Why learn about ecosystems?”
This course is intended for those with an interest in natural history, conservation or the environment and does not require any previous experience of studying these subjects.
- Identify and be able to define an ecosystem.,Assess and understand the different ways in which a system can be analysed.,Apply and use your knowledge of the key features of ecosystems to determine interrelationships between organisms in a simple ecosystem.,Describe adaptations shown by animals to extreme desert and polar environments.,Engage with and join the iSpot online community, obtain identifications for animals, plants or fungi you have seen and consider any links between them that you could identify.,Discuss how small organisms in marine systems contribute to energy flow through ecosystems.,Explain how humans impact on three examples of fragile ecosystems.
- This course is intended for those with an interest in natural history, conservation or the environment and does not require any previous experience of studying these subjects.