Food Web Dynamics
A food chain is simply "who eats what". A food web weaves together many food chains to form a complicated network of feeding relationships. Many animals eat more than one thing, and each link in each chain is important and integral to the entire system. The interactions in a food web are far more complex than the interactions in a food chain. The most complex food webs follow certain patterns and that those patterns are shaped by a limited number of biological processes, such as population dynamics and energy flow. This course is designed to study the basic components and processes of trophic dynamics, how these comprise different terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and how these systems can be altered and influenced.
Students are NOT required to purchase these books but may elect to borrow them from the library or through interlibrary loan. Readings will be provided from the following books:
Summarize the basic theory of ecological food webs.
Be able to explain food web structure and population dynamics.
Describe trophic relationships and trophic efficiency.
Describe the trophodynamics differences within and between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.
Be able to identify natural and anthropogenic perturbations to food webs.
Describe how environmental changes and anthropogenic perturbations influence food webs.
Evaluate how food webs dynamics impact ecosystem management.
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