BSc Minor Biodiversity: from Micro to Macro and from Cause to Consequence (WUBDV) / BSc


The awareness that current biodiversity decline exceeds extinction rates observed in the past has resulted in an explosive development of research on causes and consequences of biodiversity loss.
In order to understand and predict causes and consequences of biodiversity developments a thorough understanding of population dynamics and genetics of processes responsible for changes in species composition and structure of communities, ecosystems and landscapes is crucial. The underlying concepts and theories are taught during the course Population and Systems Ecology. In addition, molecular biological techniques are very useful for studying the genetic background of biodiversity, in which both intra- en interspecific genetic variability is important.
During the course Molecular and Evolutionary Ecology you first learn these molecular biological techniques in order to perform a small research project on one of these subjects. After this general introduction into population and evolutionary ecology, the course Functional biodiversity focuses on fundamental questions like: What determines biodiversity and what may be possible consequences of biodiversity loss for the functioning of ecosystems?
Then, packed with recent theory, students will obtain experience during field excursions in which they study the relation between abiotic processes and resulting variation in vegetation which is part of the course Ecology of communities, ecosystems and landscapes.
Finally, students will carry out a research project about the relation between vegetation and environmental parameters in the course Plant, Vegetation and Systems Ecology.

Learning Outcomes

After successful completion of this minor students are expected to be able to:
- apply molecular techniques for evolutionary ecological research and execute a personal rsearch in this field;
- use models in population ecology to explain and predict causes and consequences of biodiversity developments and perform calculations on general ecological principles;
- explain the interrelationship between abiotic and biotic processes at different spatial scales and organisation levels and understand species adaptions to environmental conditions and their role in ecosystem funtioning and biodiversity;
- explain the theory on causes and functional consequences of biodiversity loss and gain;
- relate changes in species composition, structure of communities, ecosystems and landscape patterns to predominant landscape processes;
- set up and execute an ecological field research project.

BSc Minor Coordinator

Prof. dr K.V. Sykora
Phone: 0317-(4)83165

Target Group

This minor is interesting for students who did ecology I: BBI-A, BBI-B, BBI-C, BBW, BDW, BIL, BLP, BMW and BPW.

Components of the BSc Minor