Credit points: 15

Subject outline

Important aspects of biodiversity and its conservation in Australia are covered in this subject and represent an introduction to plant ecology and plant systematics. In the component on plant ecology, the broad topic of the effects of environmental and biotic factors on the distribution of plant species is covered. Topics discussed include community assembly, patterns of diversity in space and time, and plant population processes. In the component on plant diversity, the broad topic of the origin and evolution of the Australian flowering plant flora is covered. Topics discussed include an introduction to plant systematics, the evolution and classification of flowering plants with particular reference to the Australian flora, plant geography of the Australian region and keys and identification of Australian flowering plants. A 4.5 day field trip to far western Victoria is an essential part of the subject.

SchoolSchool of Life Sciences

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorAlison Kellow

Available to Study Abroad StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 2 - UG

Exchange StudentsYes

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites BIO1PS or BIO1EEB


Incompatible subjects BOT2PE, BOT2AES

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditions The field trip is an essential part of the subject and reports based on it are used in the final assessment. It is not possible to set alternative work. All students must prepare a herbarium collection. Details will be provided at the beginning of the semester. This subject is available as an elective option for students, depending upon quota. Priority enrolment is given to students in the Bachelor of Science (Wildlife and Conservation Biology), Bachelor of Science (Botany Major) and Bachelor of Biological Science.


Resource TypeTitleResource RequirementAuthor and YearPublisher
ReadingsBotanical Field GuideRecommendedStefan Mager & Geoff BurrowsMullumbimby, NSW: Aracariaguides, (2011)

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. Describe and discuss vegetation sampled during mid-semester field trip in a formal scientific report.

During the field trip students are instructed on hypothesis testing, field sampling methods/techniques and data analysis, and are given feedback on their group's study design. Students to follow the scientific report format provided. Lectures provide background theory.

02. Prepare a herbarium (plant collection) and classify all specimens to genus level

During lectures and/or laboratory classes students receive instruction in the ethics of plant collection, how to prepare plant specimens and reinforce & extend plant identification skills introduced in prac classes.

03. Investigate the floral morphology of major Australian plant families by dissection and description.

Laboratory classes and lectures - assessed in practical exam

04. Incorporate relevant research findings from the scientific literature to support statements in the scientific report on the field trip study.

Lectures use examples from the scientific literature and students use referencing skills learned in first year.

05. Respond critically to plant diversity and ecology issues by incorporating material from lectures to provide a logical argument.

Lectures provide the background information to issues and demonstrate the method of developing a logical argument in relation to a particular issue.

06. Using supplied datasets, respond to a scenario to solve a plant ecological problem.

Lectures demonstrate problem solving using datasets and a given scenario.

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne, 2018, Semester 2, Day


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment size90

Enrolment information Management of Field Trip Merit based quota on academic performance in first year. Priority is given to students where this subject is core.

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorAlison Kellow

Class requirements

Field Trip
One 4.5 days field trip other recurrence on weekdays during the day and delivered via face-to-face.
"Duration 4.5 days during the mid-semester break."

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

Practical Week: 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*
Field Trip Assessment (1000 word equiv)20 01, 04
One 2-hour examination (2000 word equiv)40 05, 06
Practical Classes and Prac Assessment (750 word equiv)20 03
Herbarium Assignment (500 word equiv)10 02, 03
Online Quiz (250 word equiv)10 05, 06