|Teaching method||Contact hours|
|Course coordinator(s)||dr. J van Ruijven|
|Lecturer(s)||dr. J van Ruijven|
|dr. ir. MMPD Heijmans|
|dr. P Vergeer|
|Examiner(s)||dr. P Vergeer|
|dr. J van Ruijven|
Language of instruction:
PEN-30306 Plant Vegetation and Systems Ecology.
Note: This course can not be combined in an individual programme with CSA-20806 Populations Systems Ecology and/or SGL-23312 Landscape Geography except for BBN students.
Causes and consequences of changes in biodiversity is the main focus of the course. The first lecture and practical deal with concepts, patterns and measurements of biodiversity and the ecological implications of biodiversity loss. The remainder of the course features the most important ecological concepts and processes related to biodiversity at the level of the community, ecosystem and landscape. In community ecology, the focus lies on biotic interactions (competition, trophic interactions, bottom-up and top-down control and the stability of food webs). Ecosystem ecology mainly deals with interactions between organisms and the abiotic environment. Here, we focus on nutrient cycling, succession, feedbacks between vegetations and climate change and the global carbon cycle. At the landscape level, the focus lies on the structure and dynamics of natural and cultural landscapes, fragmentation, spatial relationships between different elements within the landscape and meta'-population theory. The last lecture will feature the Netherlands as an illustration of the threats biodiversity is facing, the underlying ecological processes at different spatial scales and national policy related to the conservation efforts to halt biodiversity loss.
After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- explain the current threats to biodiversity and its implications for ecosystem functioning using general ecological theory;
- illustrate species adaptations to environmental conditions and their feedbacks to ecological processes at the level of communities, ecosystems and landscapes;
- recognize the relationships between abiotic and biotic processes at different spatial scales;
- apply simple mathematics on general ecological principles such as species-area relationships, competition, meta-population theory and nutrient cycling;
- describe and explain the ecological background of nature management measures and policy.
Selected chapters from: Levin (ed.) 2009 Princeton guide to ecology. Available online from the library. Syllabus containing materials for the tutorials. Will be available at the WUR-shop one to two weeks before the start of the course.
|Compulsory for:||BBN||Forest and Nature Conservation||BSc||5AF|
|BES||Environmental Sciences||BSc||B: Environmental Quality and Systems Analysis||5AF|
|Restricted Optional for:||WUFNC||BSc Minor Forest and Nature Conservation||5AF|