PLANT ECOLOGY

BIO2PE

Not currently offered

Credit points: 15

Subject outline

In this subject, students are introduced to the functioning of plants with an emphasis on the Australian flora in their environment of low-nutrient soils, aridity, salinity and fire and including how they interact with other organisms through pollination, fruit dispersal and herbivory. Designing and carrying out ecological experiments to measure plant-animal interactions are an integral part of the practical component, as well as developing skills in identification, observation and drawing.

SchoolSchool of Molecular Sciences/LIMS

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorSabine Wilkens

Available to Study Abroad StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 2 - UG

Exchange StudentsYes

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites OED1RAL or BIO1CO or approval of the subject coordinator

Co-requisitesN/A

Incompatible subjectsN/A

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditionsN/A

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. Explain current (and speculate on possible future) adaptations of plants to diverse and changing environments.

Activities:
All topics are discussed in lectures; relevant documentaries are shown to illustrate examples; practicals are aligned with lectures, to further illustrate aspects of the topics.

02. Explain current (and speculate on possible future) interactions of plants and animals in a natural ecosystem, by giving examples of herbivory, parasitism, pollination, frugivory and seed dispersal.

Activities:
All topics are discussed in lectures; relevant documentaries are shown to illustrate examples; practicals are aligned with lectures, to further illustrate aspects of the topics.

03. Design, undertake and evaluate the results of experiments, by using appropriate hypotheses, controls and simple statistical tests for ecological problems.

Activities:
Apart from illustrating aspects of the theory, practicals are also used to illustrate questions of experimental design.

04. Communicate experimental results in a formal report style, through drawings or a poster.

Activities:
Scientific drawing and writing up practicals in a standard scientific format will be discussed and extensive feedback given on submitted work. Relevant posters are displayed and discussed at every practical sessions.

05. Identify the common plants of the box-ironbark forest.

Activities:
Excursions during practical periods to the local bushland will allow students to become familiar with the local flora.

06. Preserve, display and identify plant material for a weed collection.

Activities:
Examples of weed collections are displayed and discussed. Various perspectives of 'what is a weed?' will be incorporated in lectures.

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