BIO 260 - General Ecology
An introduction to the interactions between living organisms and their physical, chemical and biological environment. Several levels of ecological organization are examined. These include the study of different types of populations, communities and ecosystems. Topics include population structure and growth, species interaction, energy flow, nutrient cycling, succession, and applications to current environmental management issues. Students perform ecological experiments in the field as well as in the laboratory. Two class hours, one conference hour, three laboratory hours.
Course Learning Outcomes
1. Describe major habitats found on land and in water and explain adaptations of organisms to the variation in abiotic factors found in major habitat types.
2. Explain the use of distribution patterns, life tables, age structures, survivorship curves and population growth curves in describing the structure of populations.
3. Describe factors that affect the outcome of competitive interactions between individuals of different species and outline other types of interactions that may occur between organisms.
4. Describe the relationships between predator and prey populations and outline the structure of food webs and trophic interactions in a community.
5. Trace the flow of energy through an ecosystem and describe some major biogeochemical cycles associated with ecosystem function.
6. Discuss some of the current applied ecological issues including the effects of habitat fragmentation and loss, invasive species, and pollution.
Course Offered Fall only