|| RD16220 |
|| HABITAT ECOLOGY |
|| 2003/2004 |
|| Mr David R Powell |
|| Semester 1 |
| Course delivery
|| Lecture || 44 Hours |
|| Practical || 15 Hours 5 x 3 hours |
|Assessment Type||Assessment Length/Details||Proportion|
|Semester Assessment|| Practical report book ||50%|
|Semester Assessment||1.5 Hours Written examination ||50%|
Learning outcomesOn successful completion of this module students should be able to:
Demonstrate an understanding of ecological concepts and the adaptations of organisms to their environment.
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.
Identify the basic principles and practical applications of classification systems for the naming of organisms and habitats.
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
Identify the development and characteristics of habitats
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
Habitats - a selection of UK habitats from coastal, upland, heathland, grassland, marine, woodland, urban, wetland, freshwater.
Demonstrate an understanding of practical ecological techniques.
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
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.
Produce scientific reports of field visits
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.
The module will provide, through a range of lectures, practicals and field visits, an introduction to the basic biological and ecological processes and principles operating in a range of British habitats. The fundamental scientific principles underlying biological systems will be outlined, and the basic skills of classification of organisms and habitats introduced. 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. Particular attention will be paid to the role of humans in the development and management of these key habitats.
.1 Independent project work
Preparation of practical report book.
.2 IT and information handling
Results for some field exercises will be collated using spreadsheets.
Supplementary information for the module will be made available via the internet.
Assessed - Common Skill Outcome 12
.3 Use and analysis of numerical information
Field exercises will comprise data collection using a variety of techniques. Data will be charted, analysed and interpreted as part of the assessed field reports.
Assessed - Common Skill Outcomes 9 and 15
.4 Writing in an academic context
Field reports are to be written up in standard scientific report format.
Assessed - Common Skill Outcome 10
Production of practical report book will require good self-management
Chapman J L and Reiss, M J (1998) Ecology: Principles and application
2nd. Cambridge University Press
Clegg, C J and McKean, D G (2000) Advanced Biology: Principles and applications
2nd. John Murray
Fitter R, Fitter A and Blamey M (1996) Colins pocket guide: wildflowers of Britain and Northern Europe
Rose, F (1991) The wildflower key, British Isles and North West Europe: A guide to plant identification in the field, with and without flowers
Taylor, D T, Green N P O and Stout, G W (1997) Biological Science 1 & 2
3rd. Cambridge University Press
This module is at CQFW Level 4