LPLF10323 Plants in Populations, Communities and Ecosystems

Responsible DepartmentDepartment of Agriculture and Ecology

Earliest Possible YearBSc. 3 year to MSc. 1 year
DurationOne block
Credits7.5 (ECTS)
Level of CourseJoint BSc and MSc
ExaminationContinuous Assessment

written examination and oral examination

Some Aid allowed
No materials at written exams, all materials allowed at reports and presentations

Description of Examination: One presentation, one report (individual), three (best out of four) smaller written exams.

Weight: Report 30%, Written exams 60%, Presentation 10%

7-point scale, no second examiner
Requirement for Attending ExamParticipation in min. 75% of the individual course activities and participation in both all-day excursions
Block PlacementBlock 4
Week Structure: A
Language of InstructionEnglish
Optional PrerequisitesLBIB10171 Naturressourcer og Økologi or similar basic ecology course - Danske Feltflora og Vegetation or Kulturlanters Botanik or Jordbund & Plantekundskab or another basic botany course - Matematik og databehandling or another basic,
Course Content
- Plant population ecology: dispersal, establishment, demography, density dependence, population growth, regulation and extinction, plant strategies
- Population interactions: competition, herbivory, parasitism and disease, allelopathy
- Plant community ecology: community structure, succession, species diversity, invasive plants, plant conservation
- Plant in ecosystems: primary production, world's terrestrial vegetation type, global change
Teaching and learning Methods
Lectures, exercises and excursions, student presentations followed by student-led discussions, teacher-led discussions of articles, group work
Learning Outcome
Students in the course will become familiar with all the major questions and methods in modern plant ecology. These include knowledge of the factors that determine the abundance and distribution of plants, and how these factors can be investigated scientifically, and how current knowledge can be applied to solve applied problems. Students will obtain an understanding how modern ecological science is done with plants, starting with observation and natural history, description of patterns, building of models and theories, and making and testing of hypotheses.

- Understand and apply current "state of the art" scientific knowledge about the factors that determine the abundance and distribution of plants, including, abiotic factors such as climate and biotic factors such as competition, herbivory, parasitism.
- Be aware of the difference between scientific and ethical issues in management of plant populations and communities, and their overlap

- Describe plant populations and communities quantitatively
- Use plant ecological theories to develop and test hypotheses
- Apply ecological principles to solve applied problems in ecosystem management and plant production
- Judge alternative solutions to applied problems concerning plant populations and communities
- Use demographic methods to analyze the condition of plant populations

- Understand and criticize research in all major areas of plant ecology
- Develop hypotheses to explain the patterns in plant distribution and abundance
- Discuss both the scientific and ethical aspect of applied problems concerning plant populations and communities
Course Literature
Gurevitch, J., Scheiner, S.M., & Fox, G.A. (2006) The ecology of Plants. 2nd Edition, Sinauer, Sunderland. USA.

Crawley, M.J., ed. (1997) Plant Ecology, 2nd edn. Blackwell Science, Oxford.

Silvertown, J. & Charlesworth, D. (2001) Introduction to Plant Population Biology, 4th edn. Blackwell, London.
Course Coordinator
Jacob Weiner,, Department of Agriculture and Ecology/Section of Botany, Phone: 353-32822
Study Board
Study Committee NSN
Work Load
theoretical exercises8
project work24