Plants and Climate Change course

Online course

What does this course cover?

The climate and climate change


The first section looks at what climate is and climate change are and at why climate change is happening. It then discusses some of the effects and impacts of climate change. This is followed by a brief overview of biodiversity and its relationship with a changing climate.


How are plants impacted by a changing climate?


The second section gives a brief overview of some of the many ways in which plants are impacted by a changing climate and focuses in more detail on a few of these. Plants are heavily dependent on the climate of the areas in which they live and have adapted through evolution to their environment. Some are more flexible in their habitat requirements and some are adapted to very specific conditions. In this section we will see some effects of changing climatic conditions on the lives of plants.

A view of the Cairngorm mountains dappled in snow in areas with 3 Scots pine tress in the foreground on heather covered land

Pinus sylvestris in the Cairngorms, Scotland. Image by Peter Mulligan used under CC BY 2.0 (cropped from original)

How do plants have an effect on the climate?


The third section looks at some ways in which plants themselves have an effect on the climate and focuses more closely on a few examples. Plants store carbon as solid matter. This carbon is released upon their death and decay (or destruction). This makes plants both sources and 'sinks' for carbon.


A pink/purple plant with long purple stems with 'tentacles' circling the stem towards the end

Peatlands are a habitat for species like this sundew (Drosera). These plants survive in the nutrient-poor peat by catching and digesting insects and absorbing the nutrients in their bodies.

How can we help reduce climate change and its effects?


The final section explores the many ways in which we can all help reduce climate change and its effects, from individual and local actions through to regional and global measures. This section gives you suggestions for taking positive action. Even small things add up to make a difference! We will show you that there are many ways in which you can contribute to limiting climate change.


A young girl walking through a green grassy field followed by an adult carrying a toddler on their shoulders

Register for plants and climate change course

Register for this free course if you do not already have a PropaGate Learning account. Your details will be used to create an account on PropaGate Learning and you will receive your login details within 3 days thereafter. IMPORTANT: Due to a system upgrade we will be unable to add any new students to the course during the week of the 15th February 2021. This link opens in a new tab or window.