EZO-20306 Biology of Invertebrates and Lower Plants


Studiepunten 6.00

Learning supported by IT14
Practical intensively supervised60
Field Practical36
Course coordinator(s)dr. SWS Gussekloo
Lecturer(s)dr. AAM van Lammeren
dr. SWS Gussekloo
N Taverne
prof. dr. ir. PJGM de Wit
Examiner(s)dr. SWS Gussekloo
dr. AAM van Lammeren

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

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

Continuation courses:

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


How have lower plants and invertebrate animals adapted in structure, functioning 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. Following lectures, histological, dissection and IT-supported practicals, all questions are finally integrated in a fieldcourse (in Wimereux, France) exploring the adaptations and constraints of plant and invertebrate life, and their interactions in a community. Field observations, laboratory studies and experiments in a wide array of habitats are reported orally and by written reports.

Learning outcomes:

At the end of the course the student should be able to:
- 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, discussion and reporting (both orally, by writing and by drawing);
- 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.


Lectures, practicals on the subject of invertebrate biology integrated with theoretical issues, and an interactive IT-supported programme on algae, fungi and lichens, including self-tests. During low-tide you will characterise (in biotic and physical sense) selected field locations. Collected samples are studied by teams of two students: taxonomy, structure, functioning, life style and biological role. Eventually, 'simple' experiments are designed and performed.
All studies are orally presented to the group, and written down for the report.


The written exam includes four components, each contributing 25%: Digital test on Invertebrate biology, digital test covering the practicals on Invertebrates, digital test on Lower Plants, and a combined grade for oral presentations, participation and written reports of the Fieldcourse.


Books from previous courses: 'Zoology' (by Hickman et al.), and 'Biology of plants' (by Raven et al.). Readers 'Evertebraten' (2600511), lecture-handouts, a CD-ROM ('Biology of lower plants') and reader 'Lagere planten', reader 'Veldpracticum Evertebraten en lagere planten' (2600411). A fieldguide is supplied for free for the duration of the fieldcourse.

Verplicht voor: BBIBiologyBSc6WD