First Sub Session
Forest ecology is a science concerned with the form and function of forest ecosystems. As a science, it recognises that forest ecosystems vary in their ecological characteristics with location, and that the forest in any particular location is continually changing – sometimes rapidly and sometimes slowly.
Current theory and application of forest ecology will be covered in a series of lectures to allow you to explore the science of forest ecosystem dynamics.
Discussions during the lectures will encourage inquiry and informed argument.
One main assignment based on actual forest ecosystems will allow you to demonstrate individual thought and analysis.
Second Sub Session
This course builds on theory studied at L2 and enables students to develop their experimental design, laboratory and data analysis skills whilst studying fundamental ecological principles such as herbivory, predation and competition. Students will keep detailed lab books to improve note-keeping skills and gain experience of analysing data generated from their own experiments as well as writing this up in a journal format. Use of model experimental systems will allow students to manipulate conditions to alter experimental outcomes and relate this to real-world settings.
Second Sub Session
The field course will be non-residential, based around Aberdeen and involve day trips to local sites. Students will learn about and practice a range of approaches and techniques used by ecological consultants and those working for conservation organisations to assess vegetation quality, presence/absence of various animal species and estimates of population size. Techniques will include: Phase 1 Habitat Survey (plants), bird identification and census techniques, , surveys of mammal populations (e.g. bats, badgers, otters, red squirrels), freshwater macro-invertebrate sampling and camera trapping.
This course will take place in the third week of May after exams have been completed, dates TBC.
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