Ecology Studies – Population and Community Ecology

Course Level 3: Advanced

Estimated Study Time: 2-3 hours

In this course will learn about species populations, how life patterns evolve through natural selection, and how species behaviors 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 behavioral biology and learn about behaviors such as imprinting and habituation, conditioning, and cognitive learning and methods of communication.

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Course Content