Subject Descriptions - Subject Information


Calendar: 2017 Undergraduate
Faculty: Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health
Department: School of Biological Sciences



Subject Information
Subject Code BIOL355
Subject Name Marine and Terrestrial Ecology
Credit Points 8
Pre-Requisites BIOL251 & STAT252 OR BIOL251 & STAT131 OR BIOL251 & STAT151
Co-Requisites Nil
Restrictions Nil
Equivalence BIOL365
Assessment Statistics Assignments 8%, Field Camp Assignment 15%, Seminar 10%, Project Report 12%, Research Proposal 15%, Final Exam 40%
General Subject Yes.

Subject Description
Introduction to ecology - levels of organisation (individual, population, community, ecosystem). Experiments in ecology - their design, analysis and interpretation. Biotic interactions: competition, herbivory, predation, mutualisms. Disturbance, catastrophe and community structure and function. Behavioural ecology: innate vs learned behaviours and their effects on individual fitness, demography and community structure. Factors affecting species richness.


Subject Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this subject, students will be able to:
1. Gain a clear knowledge of experimental design and analysis of ecological experiments;
2. Gain familiarity with the ecology of marine and terrestrial ecosystems;
3. Apply a range of techniques to describe and investigate communities;
4. Gain knowledge of the range of biotic and abiotic factors that determine community structure and species richness;
5. Gain an understanding of the nature of biotic interactions and their impacts on community structure and function;
6. Gain an understanding of how an animalís behaviour contributes to its survival and reproductive fitness, and how animals are adapted to their environments;
7. Prepare a scientific paper;
8. Work in a group to collect information and develop experiments;
9. Communicate results and ideas in verbal presentations.

Extra Information
Generic Extra Information:
Practical classes begin in Week 1. NOTE: The use of animals, animal tissues or animal-derived products (such as sera) is inherent and unavoidable, in order to achieve specific learning objectives. Students with conscientious objections to that use should not enrol in this subject.