EZO-20306 Invertebrates, Algae & Fungi


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Field practical9
Excursion (one day)3
Independent study0
Course coordinator(s)dr. SWS Gussekloo
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. MJ Ketelaar
prof. dr. ir. FPM Govers
dr. ir. A Schouten
dr. SWS Gussekloo
Examiner(s)dr. ir. MJ Ketelaar
dr. SWS Gussekloo

Language of instruction:


Mandatory knowledge:

ZSS06100 Laboratory Safety and ZSS06200 Fieldwork Safety

Assumed knowledge on:

Human and Animal Biology l and 2; Structure and Physiology of Plants; Growth, Development and Reproduction of Plants.

Continuation courses:

Vertebrate Structure and Function; Developmental Biology of Animals; Functional Zoology.


Note 1: This course has a maximum number of participants. The deadline for registration is one week earlier than usual. See study guide – Academic Year – registration for courses (https://www.wur.nl/en/Education-Programmes/Current-Students/Agenda-Calendar-Academic-Year.htm)

Note 2: This course is divided over two periods (3 & 6) and includes a field course in France. The course can only be completed in the correct order (first P3 then P6). Participation in the Fieldcourse is not allowed without completing the program in Wageningen.

Note 3: As postulated in the student charter a contribution has to be paid to cover the cost of living during the field course.

Note 4: This course cannot be combined in an individual programme with EZO-22806 Marine life.

How have algae, fungi and invertebrate animals adapted in structure, function and behaviour to survive and reproduce in a wide spectrum of biotic and abiotic conditions? Such questions are discussed on phylogenetic and ontogenetic time scales. This provides insight in biodiversity, evolutionary theory and the social and economic importance of invertebrates, algae and fungi. Following lectures, histological lab-sessions, dissection lab-sessions and IT-supported lab-sessions, all questions are finally integrated in a field course where animals and plants are studied in their natural habitat of the intertidal zone (Wimereux, France). There we can explore the adaptations and constraints of plant and invertebrate life, and their interactions in a natural community.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- recognize and understand the differences in morphology and physiology between different groups (taxa/populations) of invertebrates, algae and fungi;
- understand the processes and mechanisms which shaped the organismal biological diversity: their adaptive radiation during the individual (ontogenetic) and the evolutionary (phylogenetic) development;
- master skills for your own research: observation, problem definition, analysis (including dissection), synthesis, time managment, discussion and presenting (oral, poster and written);
- recognize and understand the diversity of lower plants and animals, in relation to abiotic (exposure, substrate, water content, salinity, temperature, oxygen content, pH) and biotic factors (community with other plants and animals) in the environment where they face selective forces (specific learning outcomes are given in each chapter of the syllabi and field guide).


In Wageningen:
- lectures and practicals on the subject of invertebrate biology, algae and fungi integrated with theoretical issues, and an interactive IT-supported practical programme on algae, fungi and lichens, including self-tests.
During the field work in Wimereux;
- general training in fieldwork and appropriate time management;
- during low-tide you will characterise (in biotic and physical sense) selected field locations;
- observed species are studied by teams of two students and analysed for taxonomy, structure, function, life style and biological role;
- eventually, 'simple' experiments exploring adaptation of animals and plants are designed and performed.
The results of a selection of the assignments are presented to the whole group, and/or written down in a lab/field journal.


The final grade includes four components, of which the weights will be communicated at the beginning of the course:
- computer test with closed questions on the subject of functional morphology of invertebrates;
- computer test with closed questions on the subject of general biology of invertebrates (e.g. evolution, adaptation, ecology);
- computer test with closed questions on the subject of the general biology of algae and fungi;
- field course performance. this grade is based on observation of laboratory/field participation (25%); (poster-) presentations (25%), and a lab/field journal including written assignments (50%).


Books (both used in previous courses):
- Hickman [et al.] Integrated Principles of Zoology;
- Raven [et al.] Biology of Plants
Syllabi:  Evertebraten, Lagere Planten, Veldpracticum Evertebraten en Lagere Planten
- CD-ROM Biology of Lower and Higher Plants.
Additional information in BrightSpace.

Compulsory for: BBIBiologyBSc3AF+6WD