701-0243-AAL  Biology III: Essentials of Ecology

SemesterAutumn Semester 2016
LecturersJ. Levine
Periodicityevery semester recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish
CommentEnrolment ONLY for MSc students with a decree declaring this course unit as an additional admission requirement.

Any other students (e.g. incoming exchange students, doctoral students) CANNOT enrol for this course unit.


AbstractThis course assigns reading for students needing further background for understanding ecological processes. Central problems in ecology, including population growth and regulation, the dynamics of species interactions, the influence of spatial structure, the controls over species invasions, and community responses to environmental change will be explored from basic and applied perspectives.
ObjectiveOriginal language Students will understand how ecological processes operate in natural communities. They will appreciate how mathematical theory, field experimentation, and observational studies combine to generate a predictive science of ecological processes.

Upon completing the course, students will be able to:

Understand the factors determining the outcome of species interactions in communities, and how this information informs management.

Apply theoretical knowledge on species interactions to predict the potential outcomes of novel species introductions.

Understanding the role of spatial structure in mediating population dynamics and persistence, species interactions, and patterns of species diversity.

Use population and community models to predict the stability of interactions between predators and prey and between different competitors.

Understand the conceptual basis of predictions concerning how ecological communities will respond to climate change.
ContentReadings from a text book will focus on understanding central processes in community ecology. Topics will include demographic and spatial structure, consumer resource interactions, food webs, competition, invasion, and the maintenance of species diversity. Each of these more conceptual topics will be discussed in concert with their applications to the conservation and management of species and communities in a changing world.