EZO-20406 Biology of Invertebrates and Lower Plants, dissection free


Studiepunten 6.00

Learning supported by IT14
Practical intensively supervised60
Field Practical40
Course coordinator(s)dr. SWS Gussekloo
Lecturer(s)dr. SWS Gussekloo
dr. AAM van Lammeren
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 behavior 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, microscopical and IT-supported practicals, all questions are finally integrated by a fieldcourse (in Wimereux, France) exploring the adaptations and constraints of plant and animal 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:

- understanding the processes and mechanisms which shaped the organismal biological diversity: their adaptive radiation during the individual (ontogenetic) and the evolutionary (phylogenetic) development;
- research skills: observation, problem definition, analysis (excluding dissection), synthesis, discussion and reporting (both orally, by writing and by drawing);
- recognizing and understanding a diversity of lower plants and animals, in relation to abiotic (exposure, substrate, watercontent, 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 animals 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.
This course differs from EZO-20306 in that the practicals involving dissection are replaced by practicals involving anatomy display mounts, fluid preparations, more histology and ICT, leading to similar learning outcomes, except for the scientific analysis by preparing and observing dissections.


The exam includes four components, each contributing 25%: Theory on Invertebrates, Practicals on Invertebrates, Lower Plants and 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.