PEN-22806 Habitat Analysis for Ecologists


Studiepunten 6.00

Field practical15
Excursion (one day)14
Course coordinator(s)prof. dr. ir. L Mommer
Lecturer(s)dr. J van Ruijven
prof. dr. ir. L Mommer
dr. ir. JC van Dam
dr. M de Jong
IM Lubbers
JG van Paassen
Examiner(s)prof. dr. ir. L Mommer

Language of instruction:


Mandatory knowledge:

ZSS06100 Laboratory Safety and ZSS06200 Fieldwork Safety

Assumed knowledge on:

PEN-10503 Ecology I & PEN-20503 Ecology II

Continuation courses:

PEN-30306 Plant, Vegetation and Systems Ecology; SLM-20806 Water Quantity and Quality.


Note: This course has a maximum number of participants. The deadline for registration is one week earlier than for courses with no maximum.
A practical course on environmental research methods for undergraduate ecology students. It introduces students to the terminology and techniques of parameters regarding nutrients and water that are relevant to ecological field studies. Students learn how to sample, measure, analyse and interpret data on abiotic site conditions. They also learn to collect and interpret data on vegetation composition and tree growth as bio-indicators for abiotic site conditions. The course prepares students for field work in continuation courses and thesis projects.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- use the terminology and units of ecologically relevant variables (soil nutrients, soil water, meteorology) when describing a habitat (vegetation);
- collect and process ecologically relevant data of a habitat, using a suite of field and laboratory methods;
- calculate relevant ecological variables from lab data and literature;
- interpret and present information on habitat conditions in terms that are relevant to forest management and nature conservation;
- integrate the relevant parameters of different disciplines (vegetation, soil nutrients, soil water) in order to answer ecological research questions regarding the habitat.


After a few introductory lectures and tutorials, students will visit several forest sites located around Wageningen. In these sites, small groups of students will sample vegetation and relevant abiotic parameters. Measurements and interpretation of these variables will be continued in the laboratory and PC rooms. Finally, a small project will be executed in order to practise the multidisciplinarity of the different environmental disciplines within this course.


The final mark is determined by the three midterm examinations (10% each), the final written examination (35%; minimal score 5.5) and the presentation of the research project of the student group (35%).


The work book will be available at the WUR-shop a week before the course.
PowerPoint presentations of lectures, and data collected during the course will be available on Brightspace.

Verplicht voor: BBNForest and Nature ConservationBScB: Spec. B - Ecology and Conservation1AF
Keuze voor: WUEABBSc Minor Earth and Biosphere1AF