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Global Change Ecology
/ ENVI 423
Plants and animals are increasingly faced with rapid environmental change driven by human activities across the globe. How do they cope with challenges imposed by climate change, altered nutrient cycling, biological invasions, and increased urbanization? What are the impacts of organismal responses at the population and community level? This course uses an integrative approach to understand the impacts of global change at multiple levels of biological organization in both aquatic and terrestrial environments. We examine how global-scale environmental changes affect the distribution and abundance of species and alter community organization. We also consider the physiological and behavioural mechanisms underlying species responses and the role of acclimation versus adaptation in coping with rapid environmental change. Finally, we learn the analytical tools used to predict future responses to global change. Class discussions will focus on readings drawn from the primary literature.
Format: seminar; two 75-minute discussion sessions each week
Grading: no pass/fail option,
no fifth course option
class participation and several short papers
BIOL 203 or BIOL 305, or permission of instructor
senior Biology majors who have not yet taken a 400-level course
satisfies the distribution requirement for the Biology major
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit: