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BIOLOGY

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BI 2001
COMMUNITY ECOLOGY
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: Dr M Pinard, Dr C Trinder

Pre-requisite(s): BI 1005 or BI 1509

The content reflects important topics in ecology, demonstrated with examples from plant, soil and marine systems. It features the following themes:

  1. The nature and description of ecological communities - terrestrial and marine.

  2. Community dynamics (disturbance, succession, regeneration and species coexistence) - terrestrial and marine examples.

  3. Trophic interactions (food webs, herbivory, parasitism, predation etc).

  4. Symbioses as case studies of community interactions: biological nitrogen fixation, mycorrhizas, cellular endo-symbionts.

  5. Biodiversity and ecosystem function.

  6. Community assembly and biogeography.

The content integrates in a critical manner these generic themes across different terrestrial and marine systems with the aim of developing a generic understanding of ecological processes. Topics typically include examples from each area, with a focus on similarities and differences between systems and an interrogative look at whether general rules apply in ecological systems within the context of environmental change, conservation and other contemporary relevant/associated themes that the students will expand on at later levels.

Twelve-week course in first-half session. 3 one-hour lectures per week plus 1 three-hour practical every second week (six practicals in total). Total contact hours: 36 lectures and six practicals (18) = 54 hours in total.

1st Attempt: 1 two-hour written exam (8 out of 15 short questions, 1 out of 6 essays; = 70%); continuous assessment (30%).

Resit: 1 two-hour written exam in the same format as 1st attempt.