Ecology: Individuals and Populations

Subject 654-204 (2008)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2008.Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.500
Level: Undergraduate
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2008:

Semester 1, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24 lectures (two a week) and 27 hours practical work plus a full day excursion
Total Time Commitment: 120 hours
Prerequisites: Biology 650-141 and 650-142; or 650-131 and 650-132 (prior to 2004: biology 600-141 and 600-142; or 600-131 and 600-132); or geography 121-012 and 121-013.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements: It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study and reasonable steps will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact upon their active and safe participation in a subject are encouraged to discuss this with the relevant subject coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit.


Dr G Coulson; Dr B Downes; Dr P Vesk
Subject Overview:

By the completion of this subject, students should have an appreciation of:

  • the way in which components of the environment affect individual organisms' ability to survive and reproduce;

  • the way in which populations grow;

  • the consequences of environmental effects on individuals and on the distribution and abundance of populations;

  • the nature of interactions between species in communities, and how these interactions affect individuals and populations; and

  • the effect of natural selection on individuals and on the dynamics of populations and communities.

In the practical component students should:

  • develop an understanding of the ways in which ecological research is carried out; and

  • gain an appreciation of the importance of field experiments and the role and usefulness of models, including mathematical models, in ecology.

The subject provides an introduction to ecological questions that can be addressed at the levels of individuals, populations, communities and ecosystems. Topics covered include aquatic and terrestrial examples; organisms and the physical environment; life histories, population growth and regulation; managing populations; theoretical models; and species interactions, especially competition and predation. The practical component will emphasise experimental approaches to ecology, experimental design and biometry, and how to write scientific papers.

Assessment: Written work as practical and excursion reports totalling up to 15 pages due during the semester (30%); ongoing assessment of practical exercises and laboratory problems during the semester (25%); a 2-hour written examination in the examination period (45%).
Prescribed Texts: Ecology: Individuals, Populations and Communities (M Begon et al.), 3rd edn, Blackwell, 1996
Breadth Options: This subject is a level 2 or level 3 subject and is not available to new generation degree students as a breadth option in 2008.
This subject or an equivalent will be available as breadth in the future.
Breadth subjects are currently being developed and these existing subject details can be used as guide to the type of options that might be available.
2009 subjects to be offered as breadth will be finalised before re-enrolment for 2009 starts in early October.
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

Students enrolled in the BSc (pre-2008 BSc), BASc or a combined BSc course will receive science credit for the completion of this subject.

Experiments involving the use of animals are an essential part of this subject; exemption is not possible.

Formerly known as 654-204 Animal Ecology.

Related Course(s): Bachelor of Animal Science and Management
Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Forest Science
Bachelor of Forest Science
Diploma in Arts (Environmental Studies)

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