Introduction to ecosystems
Introduction to ecosystems

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Introduction to ecosystems

1.2 Investigating ecosystems

Let’s examine the concept of an ecosystem in more detail using an example that is familiar to many people: a pool on a rocky beach, in Britain (Figure 2). As you work through, consider what defines the limits of a particular ecosystem.

  • How does the tide change the nature of a rock pool ecosystem?
  • What role does the Sun take in sustaining the ecosystem in the rock pool?

Also think about how can this be extrapolated and applied to other ecosystems with variable physical environments.

Figure 2 A rock pool

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, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 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 prospectus