Surviving the winter
Surviving the winter

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Surviving the winter

1.2.5 Summary of Sections 1.1 and 1.2

  1. The majority of organisms are exposed to environmental fluctuations, including seasonal change in climate. In this course, we focus on the effects of winter.

  2. Organisms have evolved a range of strategies to cope with winter. Thus this common environmental variable has led to a diversity of responses.

  3. The strategies for coping with winter can be considered with respect to different levels and types of explanation.

  4. Molecular and cellular level responses to winter include the prevention of freezing through the production of antifreeze molecules such as peptides.

  5. Physiological and behavioural responses include detecting the onset of winter through changes in the L : D ratio which prompts alteration of sexual behaviour. The reproductive cycles of many organisms are linked to the L : D ratio. Many of these effects can be investigated by experiment.

  6. The life histories of organisms can be viewed as the products of trade-offs in biological processes.


Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371