20 credits at level HE6
This level three module will build on the student's experience of ecology and consevation biology and provide the following:
An understanding of the current state of population and community ecology
Experience of surveying plant communities
An understanding of the major analytical methods relating to population and community ecology
An understanding of the historical development of population and community concepts in ecology
An understanding of the use of population and community descriptions for conservation
An appreciation of the role of ecology in conservation
Population and community ecology - Basic principles and revision of ecological terminology. Population structures, demography and life tables
Community structure: historical perspectives; Analysis of community structure - theory and practice, Ordination techniques
Diversity , complexity and stability. Interpreting the evidence. The effect of alien and invasive species
Population and community ecology informing, conservation.
Keypoint lecture. In-class discussion/workshop. Practical (computer) workshop analysis and data collection in the field.
Learning outcome 1,2,3 & 4 - Opportunities for demonstrating the achievement of the learning outcomes are provided in both assessments. The practical folder contains two practical exercises, one involving the analysis and interpretation of population processes (Life tables and k-factor analysis), and the other involving the analysis and interpretation of plant community data (Ordination). In the examination there will be a compulsory question, set at the start of the module, for which the student prepares one side of A4 notes for the examination. This provides the student with the opportunity to fully research the topic. The other questions on the paper are unseen, but will require a familiarity with the literature relating to this branch of ecology.
Learning outcome 5 & 6 - Demonstration of these learning outcomes is provided in both assessments. The practical folder includes work on the analysis, interpretation and presentation of data, and requires searching for supporting literature. The examination requires evidence obtained from current and relevant journal sources.
Learning outcomes 7 & 8 - Tested in the practical folder and examination as described above.
when you have successfully completed this module you will:
to demonstrate that you have achieved the learning outcome you will:
|1.||Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the major methods of describing populations and communities.||
1a Explain, using named examples, how a population is described.
1b Explain, using named examples, how a community is described.
|2.||Critically evaluate the current state of the diversity - stability debate.||Give a researched, critical review of the stability - diversity debate.|
|3.||Critically review the evidence for the effects of alien species on the native biodiversity.||Give a researched, critical review of the effects of alien species on the biodiversity of the UK.|
|4.||Critically discuss the role of ecology in relation to conservation.||Explain the contribution of ecology to conservation.|
|5.||An ability to interpret and analyse quantitative data||Provide an analysis and interpretation of data in exercises and from the literature.|
|6.||An ability to research and use current literature to access information||Use abstracting services to obtain relevant references|
|7.||Use appropriate IT packages and methods for the analysis of and presentation of data||Produce a report using IT and data presentation techniques.|
|8.||Write reports in an appropriate style and language||Write reports in a recognised style.|
Your achievement of the learning outcomes for this module will be tested as follows:
|Description||Practical Folder||Examination 3 Hours|
Before taking this module you must have successfully completed the following:
No restrictions apply.
Begon, M., Harper, J.L. & Townsend, C.R. (1996) Ecology (3rd Ed) Blackwell Science
Kent, M., & Coker, P. (1992) Vegetation Description and Analysis - A practical approach Wiley
Williamson, M. (1996) Biological Invasions Chapman & Hall
As this is a Level 3 module students will be directed to, and be expected to independently study, peer reviewed journal articles. e.g.:
Sankoram & McNaughton (1999) 'Determination of biodiversity regulate composition and stability of communities. Nature, 401, 691-693
Wilson R. J., Thomas C. D., Fox R., Roy D. B., Kunin W. E., (2004) Spatial patterns in species distributions reveal biodiversity change. Nature, 432, 393-396
Wootton T. (2005) Field paramertization and experimental test of the neutral biodiversity theor. Nature, 433, 309-312
|Host Subject Group:||Psychology and Life Sciences|
|User Name||Date Accessed||Action|