Ecology (Revision 4)
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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online with home labs, and a mandatory four-day supervised lab component
BIOL 345 lab exemption
Area of Study: Science
Faculty: Faculty of Science & Technology
Ecology, as a branch of biology, is the study of the interactions of organisms with their environments. This course covers experimentation and models, relationships between organisms and their abiotic environments, population ecology and various symbiotic relationships, community ecology, ecosystem energetics and biogeochemical cycles, as well as aquatic and terrestrial biomes.
- Chapter 1: The Nature of Ecology
Part 1: The Physical Environment
- Chapter 2: Climate
- Chapter 3: The Aquatic Environment
- Chapter 4: The Terrestrial Environment
Part 2: The Organism and Its Environment
- Chapter 5: Adaptation and Natural Selection
- Chapter 6: Plant Adaptations to the Environment
- Chapter 7: Animal Adaptations to the Environment
Part 3: Populations
- Chapter 8: Properties of Populations
- Chapter 9: Population Growth
- Chapter 10: Life History
- Chapter 11: Intraspecific Population Regulation
Part 4: Species Interactions
- Chapter 12: Species Interactions, Population Dynamics, and Natural Selection
- Chapter 13: Interspecific Competition
- Chapter 14: Predation
- Chapter 15: Parasitism and Mutualism
Part 5: Community Ecology
- Chapter 16: Community Structure
- Chapter 17: Factors Influencing the Structure of Communities
- Chapter 18: Community Dynamics
- Chapter 19: Landscape Dynamics
Part 6: Ecosystem Ecology
- Chapter 20: Ecosystem Energetics
- Chapter 21: Decomposition and Nutrient Cycling
- Chapter 22: Biogeochemical Cycles
Part 7: Ecological Biogeography
- Chapter 23: Terrestrial Ecosystems
- Chapter 24: Aquatic Ecosystems
- Chapter 25: Coastal and Wetland Ecosystems
- Chapter 26: Large-Scale Patterns of Biological Diversity
- Chapter 27: The Ecology of Climate Change
To receive credit for BIOL 345, you must obtain a course composite grade of at least “D” (50 percent) as well as 50 percent on the examination, and 50 percent on the lab assignment. The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:
||Assignment 3||Lab Assignment
(following four-day Field Ecology Workshop)
The final examination for this course must be taken online with an AU approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators that can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.
To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.
Smith, T. M. and Smith, R. L. 2015. Elements of Ecology, 9th ed. San Francisco: Pearson Education.
Ambrose, H. W., III, Ambrose, K. P., Emlen, D. J. and Bright, K. L. 2007. A handbook of biological investigation, 7th ed. Winston-Salem, NC: Hunter Textbooks.
The course materials also includes a laboratory and field manual. All other materials are available online.
Special Course Features
The first three home labs require some materials that you must supply. If you do not own these materials already, these materials should cost less than $30. The assignments and examination must be completed within your registration period (normally six months). However, the Field Ecology Workshop can be done up to 14 months after your initial registration. The Field Ecology Workshop (FEW) is compulsory. It consists of four days of field and laboratory work. It will be held in the summer at Athabasca University's headquarters in Athabasca, Alberta.
Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.
Opened in Revision 4, October 29, 2015.
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Updated July 07 2016 by Student & Academic Services