Module Identifier BS32720  
Academic Year 2000/2001  
Co-ordinator Dr Robert Wootton  
Semester Semester 1  
Other staff Dr Simon Creasey, Dr John Gee  
Pre-Requisite BS22720  
Course delivery Lecture   30 Hours  
  Practical   5 Hours 6 x 3 hours  
Assessment Exam   3 Hours One 3-hour theory paper   70%  
  Practical exercise   Continuous assessment of practicals Submitted in 6th week of semester   30%  
  Resit assessment   3 Hours One 3-hour theory paper (plus resubmission of failed courswork or an alternative)    

Aims and objectives
The course introduces at an elementary level, theoretical developments in population and community ecology, with theory related, where possible, to empirical studies. The need to assess the underlying assumptions of the models developed is emphasised throughout.

The subject addresses three main problems. What factors determine population abundance and changes in that abundance? What factors cause changes in the genetic composition of populations? What factors determine the number of species that can co-exist in a given area?

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. The behavioural ecology of foraging, predation and social behaviour is discussed in relation to the consequences for population abundance.

The use of genetic markers to define populations and to follow the dynamics of change in the genetic structure of populations is described.

The community ecology components discusses two-species models for predator-prey and competitive interactions, species diversity, food webs, and island biogeography. The relevance of community ecology for conservation is considered.

Learning outcomes
On competion of the course the student should

Reading Lists
** Essential Reading
Begon, M. Townsend, C. & Harper, J. (1996) Ecology. Backwell.
Krebs, C.J.. (1994) Ecology. Harper Collins.
Cook, L.M.. (1991) Genetics & Ecological diversity. Chapman & Hall.