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Ecology Studies - Ecosystem Ecology - Revised

Get a better understanding of ecosystems, energy transfer and biogeochemical cycles in this free Ecology Studies course.

Publisher: OpenStax College
This course introduces you to the field of ecosystem ecology. An ecosystem consists of animals, plants and bacteria, as well as the physical and chemical environment they live in. All living things respond to and are influenced by their ecosystem and with this course, you will have a stronger understanding of ecosystem types and categories, the transfer of energy between trophic levels, and food webs and food chains.
Ecology Studies - Ecosystem Ecology - Revised
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This course starts with the structure of ecosystems. You will learn that there are three broad categories of ecosystems, based on ecosystems' general environment, with ocean ecosystems being the most common. Next, you will see how energy is acquired by living things, and look into photosynthesis, chemosynthesis and heterotrophs, as well as study the second law of thermodynamics.

Large amounts of energy are lost from the ecosystem from one trophic level to the next as energy flows from the primary producers through the various trophic levels of consumers and decomposers. To help you understand the transfer of energy between trophic levels, the material discusses assimilation, ecological pyramids and biomagnification. You will also study essential biogeochemical cycles, including the hydrologic, biological carbon, biogeochemical carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus and sulphur cycles.

An ecosystem includes a physical environment and the living organisms that exist within it and function together as a whole. Ecology, on the other hand, is the study of the distribution and abundance of life and the interactions between organisms and their natural environment. This course focuses on the study of ecosystem ecology, and will teach you how we can better improve our environment, manage our natural resources, and protect human health. This is important knowledge, which you can gain in just a few short hours.

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