env3lec landscape ecology and conservation




Credit points: 15

Subject outline

Landscape ecology is the science of studying the relationships between ecological processes in the environment and how these affect plants and animals. Landscapes are large areas characterized by interacting patches or ecosystems, ranging from natural terrestrial and aquatic systems to human-dominated environments. Key research topics in landscape ecology include ecological flows, land use, relating landscape pattern analysis with ecological processes and landscape conservation. Importantly, it contributes significantly to conservation and restoration. Students are introduced to the main concepts of landscape ecology: landscape structure, function and change. The practical implications are introduced, encompassing nature conservation and habitat restoration in fragmented landscapes. Practical work provides an opportunity to gain experience in a range of skills including data collection, collation and analysis of data, interpretation of findings, and preparation of scientific reports. Practicals include observational studies, field data collection and data analysis and a field trip to assess land uses across a broad landscape.

SchoolSchool of Life Sciences

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorJohn Morgan

Available to Study Abroad StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 3 - UG

Exchange StudentsYes

Subject particulars

Subject rules



Incompatible subjectsN/A

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditionsN/A

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. Design and discuss how landscapes are composed

Students choose a landscape of their choice, identify the components and then quantify the spatial patterning of that landscape.

02. Analyse and evaluate spatial data using relevant statistical methods

Students collect spatial data on a landscape of their choice. Practical session on landscape ecology metrics/tools will be dedicated to teacjing students about concepts and appropriate analyses.

03. Design and discuss a landscape and orally present a testable hypothesis and project plan as a team

Students collect data on one-day field trip about landscape function, then use statistical analyses to report back to group in Oral Presentation. Part of a practical session is deicated to teaching students about experimental design and analysis of data and requirements for oral presentation

04. Prepare a well-structured, scientifically accurate report based on field trip data collection

Report layout, structure and content of the report will be provided in a practical session / lab manual

05. Explain and discuss landscape ecology concepts

In the lectures, student are taught the theory of landscape ecology with examples and applications of the structure, function and change of landscapes.

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne, 2019, Semester 2, Day


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment size100

Enrolment information Field trip and field pracs are an integral part of the course and we really can't deal logistically (transport, etc) with more than 100 students in the field Students allowed to enrol until the quota is met

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorJohn Morgan

Class requirements

LectureWeek: 31 - 43
Two 1.0 hours lecture per week on weekdays during the day from week 31 to week 43 and delivered via face-to-face.

Field TripWeek: 37 - 37
One 8.0 hours field trip other recurrence on weekends during the day from week 37 to week 37 and delivered via face-to-face.

PracticalWeek: 31 - 43
One 3.0 hours practical per week on weekdays during the day from week 31 to week 43 and delivered via face-to-face.


Assessment elementComments%ILO*
Final Exam (1.5 hrs, short essay questions)3005
Assignment 1: based on practicals in weeks 2-3 (600-word equivalent)Written feedback on performance (both rubric and comments); prac report 1 will have detailed feedback to ensure prac report 2 can be written with enhanced understanding of requirements1001, 02
Assignment 2: based on practicals in weeks 4-5 (600 word equivalent)Written feedback on performance (both rubric and comments)1001, 02
Group presentation (10-minutes) based on field trip, topic: land use (approx. 3 minutes per student)Draft presentations will be checked prior to submission and oral feedback provided on scope, content and interpretation. Written feedback on content (rubric and comment) will be provided.2003
Individual written report based on field trip, topic: land use (1500 words)Written feedback (rubric and comments) provided on intellectual ideas presented in report, as well as scientific writing capability.3004