Exploring the Science of Ecology is an interactive electronic book on CD-ROM that was designed as an introduction to the science of ecology for anyone interested in the natural world. Ecology is a science that examines the underlying mechanisms of how organisms interact with each other and their environment. Nature presents many interesting examples of adaptations that species have evolved to cope with the great variety of different environments on earth - several of these adaptations are illustrated in this book. While knowledge of introductory biology will help you appreciate the mechanisms underlying the ecological principles illustrated in this book, such knowledge is not necessary to begin exploring the many interesting aspects of ecology.

The five lessons that comprise this interactive book can be explored in any sequence. However, the learner may begin with Ecology, which explores the overall field of ecology, and proceed through the book in order of increasing integration of ecological levels: Environment, Organisms & the Environment, Communities, Ecosystems & Biomes, and Ecology at the Global Scale. The latter integrates all of the physical and biological processes of the other levels and includes human influences on the earth.

In contrast to a traditional book, where the learner reads a set of sequential chapters - each perhaps followed by a study section - this interactive electronic book emphasizes interactive questions with context-sensitive explanations. There are over 200 interactive question elements in the book. In combination with over 100 photographs, videos, graphs, and legends, the learner is provided with a rich and comprehensive learning environment. Performance on each major topic is automatically evaluated at the end of each section. Through repeated use of the book, this enables learners to increase their comprehension to the level of mastery.

This interactive book will be available on CD-ROM in 2006 and is compatible with Windows operating system (ME/98/2000/XP)

Cover page of the book. Each section of the book is directly accessible in any order.

CD-ROM case cover



An abridged version of the interactive book on ecology is available online (at right). Because of limitations of the Internet, the abridge version lacks the full multimedia content and interactivity of the unabridged CD-ROM version of the book.




Abridged version

Explore what you know about the science of ecology
Explore what you know about the physical environment
Explore what you know about the response of organisms to their environment

Explore what you know about communities, ecosystems, and biomes
Explore what you know about ecology at the global scale



Featured books and journals

Ecology. 2000. Fourth edition. Ricklefs, R.E. and G.L. Miller. Freeman.

Ecology & Field Biology. 2001. Sixth edition. Smith, R.L. and T.M. Smith. Benjamin Cummings.

Elements of Ecology. 2003. Fifth edition. Smith, R.L. and T.M. Smith. Benjamin Cummings.

The Science of Ecology. 1994. Second edition. Brewer, R. Saunders.

Plant ecophysiology. 2003. Larcher, W. Springer Verlag.


Ecological methodology. 1999. Second edition. Krebs, C. J. Benjamin Cummings.

Field and laboratory methods for general ecology. 1998. Fourth edition. Brower, J.E., J.H. Zar, and C.N. von Ende. McGraw-Hill.

General Ecology Laboratory Manual. 2002. Eight edition. Cox, G.W. McGraw-Hill.

Ecological Society of America - Journals
British Ecological Society - Journals

Internet resources