Free course

Surviving the winter

Free statement of participation on completion

In this free course, Surviving the winter, we study one aspect of the fluctuating nature of an organisms environment. We consider how organisms living in a temperate climate, such as that in Britain, are adapted to cope with winter. You will see that there is much diversity of adaptations among organisms, with different species coping with the demands of a fluctuating environment in quite different ways. As cyclic variations are a widespread feature of environments, the range of adaptations to them is an important source of biological diversity.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • identify the four main strategies shown by organisms for coping with winter
  • appreciate and give examples of the levels and types of explanation used for understanding these strategies
  • describe ways in which the strategies can be subjected to experimental manipulation
  • provide examples of how plants, birds and mammals can remain active through winter
  • give examples of organisms that survive the winter as juveniles.