Module Identifier RD16220  
Academic Year 2001/2002  
Co-ordinator Mr David Powell  
Semester Semester 2  
Other staff Mr Stephen Walsh  
Assessment Practical report   Practical report book Outcomes assessed: 2, 3, 4, 5   40%  
  In-course assessment   Three tests during semester Outcomes assessed: 1, 2, 3   60%  


Outcome 1
Demonstrate an understanding of ecological concepts and the adaptations of organisms to their environment.
Performance criteria:
a. understand the concepts of evolution, populations, communities, ecosystems, habitats, niche, ecological succession, the
   cycling of matter and energy flow.
b. demonstrate an understanding of the adaptations to the environment of plants, animals and micro-organisms;
Evolution - mechanisms of inheritance, variation and natural selection.
Ecological concepts - food chains, food webs, pyramids of numbers, nutrient cycles, primary and secondary succession in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.
Adaptations - terrestrial/aquatic, nutrition and feeding, reproductive strategies, population types, life cycle strategies, homeostatic control, co-ordination and movement.

Outcome 2
Identify the basic principles and practical applications of classification systems for the naming of organisms and habitats.
Performance criteria:
a. Classification systems and the nomenclature of groups of organisms and of habitats are understood
b. Use of identification keys is undertaken
Classification systems - Binomial systems, Phase 1, NVC
Identification keys - dichotomous

Outcome 3
Identify the development and characteristics of habitats
Performance criteria:
a. A range of terrestrial, freshwater and marine habitats are described.
b. The geographical distribution and historical development of habitats in relation to land use, abiotic and biotic factors are
   accounted for.
Habitats - a selection of UK habitats from coastal, upland, heathland, grassland, marine, woodland, urban, wetland, freshwater.

Outcome 4
Demonstrate an understanding of practical ecological techniques.
Performance criteria:
a. a range of abiotic factors are measured in the field
b. Sampling methods for recording the distribution and abundance of a range of organisms are understood and performed in
   selected habitats.
Habitats - a selection of UK habitats from coastal, upland, heathland, grassland, marine, woodland, wetland, freshwater
Abiotic Factors - to include climatic, edaphic, topographic, nutrients, oxygen.
Sampling - random, systematic, stratified random, counts, percentage cover, frequency of occurrence.

Outcome 5
Produce scientific reports of field visits
Performance criteria:
a. Field data is presented in an appropriate manner.
b. Field data is analysed and interpreted in relation to basic ecological principles.
Field data: Tables, graphs, charts. Numerical analysis. Scientific format. Discussion. Conclusions.

Module description

The module will provide, through a range of lectures, practicals, visits and a residential field course, an introduction to the basic biological and ecological processes and principles operating in a range of British habitats. It will outline the basic scientific principles underlying biological systems, and highlight the differences between groups of organisms, identifying their adaptations to particular habitat requirements. Practical application of field and laboratory techniques will help develop an understanding of the concepts of niche, habitats, populations and communities that will provide a foundation for the study of a variety of important British habitats.