|Delivery length / details
|30 x 1 Hour Lectures
|2 x 2 Hour Practicals
|Assessment length / details
|Report on population ecology practical.
|Report on community ecology practical.
|3 Hours Essay paper
|Students must take elements of assessment equivalent to those that led to failure of the module.
|3 Hours Students must take elements of assessment equivalent to those that led to failure of the module.
On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
1. Describe and discuss the conceptual models that are used to account for the distribution and abundance of organisms in natural systems.
2. Describe the evidence that underpins the models and to assess critically its value.
3 Apply appropriate methods to measure ecological characteristics, such as population size, population growth rate, community diversity.
The course starts from an elementary level and introduces theoretical developments in population and community ecology, with theory related, where possible, by reference to empirical studies. The need to assess the underlying assumptions of the models is emphasised throughout.
The population ecology component covers the following topics: estimation of population abundance, the construction and use of life tables, the concept of density dependence, life history theory, and population growth models emphasising the logistic model. The population dynamics of species with overlapping and non-overlapping generations are compared. Spatially explicit models introduce the concept of metapopulations.
The community ecology component discusses two-species models for predator-prey and competitive interactions. It develops these into the niche-based concept of community composition and examines the evidence for this view. It covers the factors affecting species diversity, including island biogeography and considers the functioning of food webs. The relevance of community ecology for conservation is considered.
|Application of Number
|In completing practical workshops and assignments which require handling of numerical data.
|Report writing and presentation of the results of workshops.
|Improving own Learning and Performance
|Through practice in independent learning and time management.
|Searching and accessing primary literature.
|Personal Development and Career planning
|Through applying the principles of ecology, and through using workshop data to test specific hypotheses.
|Reading primary literature and critical assessment of the value of sources.
|Subject Specific Skills
|Through use of analytical techniques appropriate from ecological data.
This module is at CQFW Level 6