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Landscape ecology

Why did the wildebeest cross the road? Watch Dr. Colin Beale explain how we can find out.

Ecologists use a diverse range of techniques to understand the processes driving the movement of, and interactions between, organisms in ecosystems. Here we look at an African ecosystem to learn more.

In this video we think about how predators and prey interact with their wider environment at a landscape scale, and the impacts this can have. We also consider some of the techniques that we can use to understand the processes occurring in our ecosystems.

Here are some questions to consider while you’re watching the video. We’d be happy to hear your views in the comments after you’ve watched the video.

  • So why did the wildebeest cross the road?!

  • Just how much poo (and associated nutrients) do 1.4 million wildebeest produce each day and what would the impact be on the ecosystem?

  • 15,000 years ago the UK had herds of mammoths and woolly rhino, large numbers of deer of various species and a complete set of large carnivores. How might the extinction of these animals affect the ecology of the UK today?

You can read more about African ecology in Colin’s blog.

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The Biology of Bugs, Brains, and Beasts

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