Ecology I (4 credits). The course starts with a short introduction to and positioning of ecology, followed by two chapters on limiting factors and the physical environment, including climate, energy balance of the earth and abiotic factors. The next chapters are grouped according to the hierarchical organisation level, i.e. individuals, populations and communities. The following aspects are extensively dealt with in these groups of chapters.
- Adaptations of plants to the environment
- Adaptations of animals to the environment
The section on "Populations" contains the following topics : general characteristics of populations, basic demographic principles (birth and death rates, population growth), regulation of numbers, intraspecific competition, and variation in life history characteristics.
- Organisation of communities, community as basic unit of study, patterns
- Community structure
- Niche and diversity
- Interspecific populations: competition and predation
- Succession and climax
Course 'Ecology I' is complemented and followed by course 'Ecology II'. If you want to get the entire overview of Ecology, both courses are needed.