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PLANT SCIENCE

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PL 3303
ECOSYSTEM PROCESSES
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: Professor D Robinson

Pre-requisite(s): BI 2001 or another appropriate Level 2 biology course

Co-requisite(s): None

Primary production (The carbon cycle; Biomes; Scaling from leaf to biome); Water use (The hydrological cycle; Coupling between vegetation and atmosphere; Water in soil; Water use efficiency); Soil microbiology & Organic Matter decomposition (Decomposer organisms; Soil respiration; Decomposition kinetics; Root-microbe relations). Nutrient acquisition by plants (Nutrient demand; Nutrients in soil; Nutrient supply; Soil heterogeneity. Secondary production (Effects of grazing on nutrient cycling; Energy and resource flow between trophic levels). Ecosystem sustainability, human impacts and feedback effects. Ecosystem research methods.

The course runs over six weeks and the class meets for four sessions a week, typically two or three 2 hour lectures and a practical or data analysis session. In total, the class meets for fifteen 2 hour lectures, seven 2 hour practical classes and workshop, two quizzes and a class review session. In total, the class has about 60 hours of contact.

1st Attempt: Written exam (67%) and continuous assessment (33%), continuous assessment is based on two worksheets, one based on the practical classes and one based on the data analysis workshop.

Resit: Written exam (100%).