APS 223 World Ecosystems

Level 2
Semester 1B
Credits 10
Pre/Co Requisites -
Recommended Requisites APS 124
Teaching Staff Dr Tom Webb, Dr Gareth Phoenix, Professor Colin Osborne,
Co-ordinator Professor Colin Osborne


This module will provide a basic understanding of key world ecosystems, their defining characteristics, and a review of the adaptations of the organisms that inhabit them.


This module looks at the key processes determining ecosystem structure and function at the global scale, with a special emphasis on the impacts of anthropogenic global change. The emphasis will be on ecological principles operating across large scales, beginning with a look at how environmental factors drive global patterns of species diversity and ecosystem structure. This will be followed by an in-depth examination of species interactions within ecosystems, including factors that control and maintain biodiversity, and how organisms contribute to the functioning of ecosystems. Throughout we emphasise the impacts of global change on the world’s biota, including the critical feedbacks from ecosystems on climate.

Delivery method: 18 lectures

Student contact hours: 18

Assessment method: 1 1/2 hour examination.

Feedback: Students can receive feedback on performance in examinations by arranging a meeting with their personal tutor after mid-March.

Please go to MOLE for more information on APS223

Return to Level 2 modules |  Top of page