This module introduces students to the main branches of ecology by considering the various levels at which the subject may be studied: individuals, populations, communities and ecosystems. The aim of the practical sessions is to demonstrate how professional ecologists define and identify problems, how data are collected, and how results of ecological research are analysed, interpreted and applied to environmental and global issues.
Aims and Objectives
Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:
- explain the basics of population ecology
- explain the relevance of evolution to ecology, from genetics to ecosystems
- Describe the distribution of species in relation to abiotic and biotic factors, and at various ecological scales
- explain the dynamics of communities and ecosystems
The module has four sections:
(1) Organisms and their environment - ecophysiology and distribution of organisms in relation to abiotic factors;
(2) Evolutionary and behavioural ecology - genetic variation, inheritance, selection and adaptation, co-evolution, sex and extinction;
(3) Population ecology - intra- and inter-specific competition, density dependence, predation, niches & mutualism; and
(4) Communities & ecosystems - succession, diversity, nutrient cycling and energy flow.
Learning and Teaching
Teaching and learning methods
Lectures, practical classes, and independent learning
|Practical classes and workshops||6|
|Total study time||150|
Resources & Reading list
Smith, T.M. & Smith, R.L. Elements of Ecology. SF: Pearson Benjamin Cummings.
Molles, M.C. Concepts and Applications. NY: McGraw-Hill.
This is how we’ll formally assess what you have learned in this module.
This is how we’ll assess you if you don’t meet the criteria to pass this module.
Repeat type: Internal & External