ESS-21306 Principles of Earth and Ecosystem Science


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Practical intensively supervised36
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. MR Hoosbeek
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. MR Hoosbeek
dr. ir. LN Ganzeveld
Examiner(s)dr. ir. MR Hoosbeek

Language of instruction:


Continuation courses:

ESS-31806 Earth's Biogeochemical Cycles and Climate Change.


This course is intended for students with a non-natural science background who want to understand the basics of the natural sciences related to Global Change issues. For example, this course is not intended for BBW or BBI students, but aims at students who do not have a background in soil science, hydrology and/or ecology. This course provides a conceptual basis for understanding abiotic and biotic processes in terrestrial ecosystems and their sensitivity to Global Change:
- the Ecosystem Concept;
- earth's Climate System;
- geology and Soils;
- soils and Global Change;
- terrestrial Water and Energy Balance;
- carbon Input to Terrestrial Ecosystems;
- terrestrial Production Processes;
- terrestrial Decomposition;
- modelling Decomposition Processes;
- terrestrial Plant Nutrient Use;
- terrestrial Nutrient Cycling;
- temporal Dynamics;
- landscape Heterogeneity and Ecosystem Dynamics;
- global Biogeochemical Cycles.

Learning outcomes:

At the end of this course the student is expected to be able to:
- demonstrate knowledge of the major abiotic and biotic processes in terrestrial ecosystems;
- demonstrate insight into feedback mechanisms;
- develop a simple ecosystem model;
- perform calculations related to major abiotic and biotic processes in terrestrial ecosystems;
- assess the effects of Global Change on ecosystems.


- attend lectures and study of course book;
- exercises (analysing data sets, model computation).


Written test with open questions (100%).


Chapin III, F. Stuart; Matson, Pamela A.; Vitousek, Peter M. (2012). Principles of Terrestrial Ecosystem Ecology. 2nd ed. 529 p. Springer New York, ISBN 978-1-4419-9504-9; ISBN 978-1-4419-9502-5.

Restricted Optional for: MGIGeo-Information ScienceMSc1AF
MCLClimate StudiesMSc1AF
MCLClimate StudiesMSc1AF
MCLClimate StudiesMSc1AF
Restricted Optional for: WUCLCBSc Minor Climate Change: Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Society1AF
WUEAHBSc Minor Earth and Health1AF