Plant Biodiversity

Subject BOTA20002 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 27-Jul-2015 to 25-Oct-2015
Assessment Period End 20-Nov-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 07-Aug-2015
Census Date 31-Aug-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 25-Sep-2015

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 2 x one hour lectures per week, 1 x three hour practical class per week, 1 x one day field excursion
Total Time Commitment:

Estimated total time commitment of 170 hours



One of

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

Plus one of

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:


Both of

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:


Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering applications for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005) and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, this subject requires all students to actively and safely participate in practical class activities. Students who feel their disability may impact upon their participation are encouraged to discuss this with the Subject Coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit.


Dr Andrew Drinnan


Subject Overview:

Terrestrial environments are dominated by a diversity of land plants, which define the structure of ecosystems and underpin terrestrial food webs. This subject introduces the major groups of land plants from liverworts to angiosperms and fungi, concentrating on their structure, biology, ecology, systematic relationships and evolution. It is relevant for students studying plant science and those focused on terrestrial environments and ecology. Topics covered include:

  • evolution, relationships and classification of land plants;
  • major groups of land plants, liverworts, mosses, ferns and seed plants; their structure, biology and fossil record;
  • major families of flowering plants, including Australian flora, their characteristics, biology and identification;
  • major groups of fungi and their biology.
Learning Outcomes:

After completion of the lecture and practical components of this subject, students should appreciate:

  • the variety and classification of land plants and fungi;
  • the biology and ecology of major plant groups;
  • skills in plant identification, especially Australian flora;
  • use of modern identification tools including computer-interactive keys;
  • the concepts of modern phylogenetics for framing evolutionary hypotheses within and between major plant groups.

Two 1-hour practical tests during semester, one mid-semester and one at the end of the semester (10% each); written reports on practical work due during the semester (20%); a 3-hour written examination in the examination period (60%).

Prescribed Texts:


Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This subject is available for science credit to students enrolled in the BSc (both pre-2008 and new degrees), BASc or a combined BSc course.

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Botany
Science-credited subjects - new generation B-SCI and B-ENG.
Selective subjects for B-BMED
Related Breadth Track(s): Australian flora

Download PDF version.