BIOEB303-20A (TGA)

Terrestrial Ecology

15 Points

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Division of Health Engineering Computing & Science
School of Science
Ecology, Biodiversity and Animal Behaviour

Staff

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Convenor(s)

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: cheryl.ward@waikato.ac.nz

You can contact staff by:

  • Calling +64 7 838 4466 select option 1, then enter the extension.
  • Extensions starting with 4, 5, 9 or 3 can also be direct dialled:
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    • For extensions starting with 3: dial +64 7 2620 + the last 3 digits of the extension e.g. 3123 = +64 7 262 0123.
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Paper Description

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Terrestrial ecology is the study of how organisms on land interact each other and the environment. Terrestrial ecosystems vary dramatically around the globe; ranging from arid desserts to tropical rainforests, a combination of biotic and abiotic factors govern the structure and performance of ecological communities. This paper explores a number of major concepts in ecology, from how communities are locally structured to global patterns in species diversity. It also covers how ecological theory informs the conservation and restoration of degraded ecosystems using both international and New Zealand examples.

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Paper Structure

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This paper includes 18 lectures (Tue and Wed) and 5 practicals (1 two-day field trip and 4 lab sessions). The two-day field trip is a central component of this paper and will require an additional small contribution to cover each student's accommodation expenses.

Assessment is by two lab reports and one larger research report which are all based on data collected during the field trip, two one-hour tests, and a final exam.

Important note for international students: For international students in New Zealand under student visas, regular attendance is part of your visa obligation and is checked as a requirement on the University under the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students, to which the University is a signatory. Academic staff are formally required to monitor attendance in classes and submission of assessment events/items and to report to Waikato International in the event that any problem with irregular attendance or non-submission is not resolved.


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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the course should be able to:

  • Demonstrate a sound knowledge of how terrestrial ecosystems vary and the consequences for inhabiting organisms.
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Describe the structure of ecological communities and explain how they are likely to change across environmental gradients.
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  • Demonstrate an understanding of how biotic and abiotic factors influence the dynamics of energy and matter in ecosystems.
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  • Develop an appreciation for how ecological patterns and processes vary at different scales of space and time.
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  • Apply various key aspects of ecological theory to challenges in conservation and restoration of terrestrial ecosystems.
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  • Carry out quantitative sampling of plants and insects and perform statistical analyses on collected data.
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  • Interpret and communicate results from ecological experiments in the form of a scientific report.
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Assessment

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This course is assessed via internal assessment and an exam, with a ratio of 60:40. The internal assessment of 60% will consist of one group report carried out during the field trip (5% of the final grade), two individual reports following the field trip (35%; i.e., 10% and 25%), and two tests (20%; i.e., 2 x 10%). Test 1 will cover the preceding lecture material, and Test 2 will cover lectures delivered after Test 1 and before Test 2. The exam will cover all material.


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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Field trip methods report
14 Mar 2020
No set time
5
  • Other: Hand in during field trip
2. Data analysis lab report
9 Apr 2020
No set time
10
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
3. Test 1
8 Apr 2020
12:00 PM
10
  • Hand-in: In Lecture
4. Ecology field research report
8 May 2020
No set time
25
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
5. Test 2
3 Jun 2020
12:00 PM
10
  • Hand-in: In Lecture
6. Exam
40
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Required Readings

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Smith, T.M., Smith, R.L. (2015) Elements of Ecology, 9th Edition. Pearson Education Ltd.

E-book is available from the library.

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Recommended Readings

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Sibly, R.M., Brown, J.H. & Kodric‐Brown, A. (2012) Metabolic Ecology: A Scaling Approach. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK.

E-book is available from the library.


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Online Support

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This paper has a Moodle page (http://elearn.waikato.ac.nz) where you will be able to access pdfs of lecture notes and powerpoints, lecture recordings, and reading material. There are also discussion forums where you can both ask and answer questions.

PLEASE NOTE: Moodle will be used for class notices etc and it is your responsibility to check the site regularly. Instructions provided on Moodle and in lectures are considered to be given to the class as a whole.


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Workload

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The contact time for this course consists of 18 hours of lectures, 12 hours of lab sessions and about 12 hours for the field trip (42 hours total). There are also three practical reports and two tests.


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Linkages to Other Papers

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Prerequisite(s)

Prerequisites: BIOEB202 or BIOL212 or New Zealand Diploma in Environmental Management (Level 6)

Corequisite(s)

Equivalent(s)

Restriction(s)

Restricted papers: BIOL312

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