Eutrophication OpenCourseWare: The Open University's Free Undergraduate Course on Eutrophication

Published Feb 13, 2009

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When a pond begins to become a bog or marsh and is slowly filled in, people may say it is being 'eutrophied' (which it is), but a free course from The Open University can explain the actual biological processes that are occurring. This free noncredit course, which can supplement the work of students earning a Bachelor of Science in Life Sciences, examines what happens when an ecosystem becomes more nutrient rich over time.

Eutrophication: Course Specifics

Degree Level Free Audio Video Downloads
Undergraduate Yes No No Yes

Lectures/Notes Study Materials Tests/Quizzes
Yes Yes No

Eutrophication: Course Description

The term 'eutrophication' is derived from a word meaning 'to feed.' When nutrients in an ecosystem increase, competition among species also increases and can lower the biodiversity of that ecosystem. This process may occur naturally, or through human activity such as the use of fertilizers. This free course examines the effects of eutrophication on the species present in the ecosystem and ways that humans can manage the process so as to avoid losing a valuable natural resource. Methods of monitoring and measuring the amount of eutrophication are introduced, as are the factors, or agents of the process. Some of the effects of eutrophication on plant species in freshwater and marine ecosystems are explored. The impact that eutrophication can have on consumers is also examined.

This 12 hour course, which can provide students with useful review for a life sciences course of study, contains readings with study questions, all for free. If you think you'd like to know more about eutrophication, visit the eutrophication course page.

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