ANIMAL & PLANT ECOLOGY - THEORY & PRACTICE - 2023/4
Module code: BMS2070
This module considers the place of both plants and animals in the environment, looking at the dynamics of organisms within an ecosystem and role that disturbance and succession play in the evolution of ecosystems. It then develops the basic theoretical and practical skills required for their sampling, monitoring and reporting.
School of Biosciences and Medicine
PIRIE Tara (Biosc & Med)
Number of Credits: 15
ECTS Credits: 7.5
Framework: FHEQ Level 5
JACs code: C180
Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A
Overall student workload
Independent Learning Hours: 119
Lecture Hours: 13
Seminar Hours: 2
Tutorial Hours: 2
Laboratory Hours: 3
Practical/Performance Hours: 11
Prerequisites / Co-requisites
Indicative content includes:
- An Introduction to Key Concepts in Ecology:
Community structure & trophic interactions
Food chains & webs
Species diversity & measurement
Ecological change & succession
Population concepts (growth, dispersal & dispersion)
- Field methods in Ecology (animals and plants)
Animal species identification (morphology), ID keys & collation
General habitat types & their classification
Direct/indirect species monitoring
Specific survey methodology (dependent on species)
Practical skills/experience including survey methodology (e.g. quadrats and camera trapping)
- Theoretic/Analytical methods in Ecology
Plus fieldwork/site visits, computer lab tutorial sessions
|Assessment type||Unit of assessment||Weighting|
|Coursework||Assignment 1 - Group Video||30|
|Coursework||Assignment 2 - Individual short written article||20|
|Coursework||Assignment 3 - Individual methods and write up proforma||50|
Assessment 1 (IS1): If the group work is missed (with extenuating circumstances) the student can submit a piece to camera reporting on the article they have written, but no support will be available. If the individual work is missed (with extenuating circumstances) the student will submit an article based on a paper as outlined in the original brief. Assessment 2 (IS2): If IS2 fieldwork component is missed (with extenuating circumstances), model data sets will be provided for the student to complete the analyses. If computer lab practical is missed (with extenuating circumstances), it will be possible to complete this task on-line during the semester, but no support will be available.
The assessment strategy provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate:-
The application of knowledge introduced in lectures and formative practical sessions along with transferable skills in different forms of communication, as well as interpretation and data presentation. This will be tested in assignments 1 and 2 (IS1) LO3, LO4, LO7.
Reporting/survey and analytical/cognitive skills via the individual write-up proforma of assignment 3 (IS2) LO6, LO8, LO9, with a computer-based GIS exercise (IS3) as well as the application of knowledge about plant and animal survey methods in the write-up.
Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:
- Assignment 1 - IS1 - Group summative assessment [30%] - Video about ecological aspects.
- Assignment 2 - IS2 - Individual summative assessment [20%] - Short written article based on the same resource as the video.
- Assignment 3 IS3 - Individual summative assessment [50%] - Fieldwork and survey methods write-up proforma/report and GIS exercise.
Formative assessment and feedback
Students can obtain formative feedback from a variety of sources:
- verbal feedback following lectures or during the tutorial.
- verbal feedback from academics during fieldwork.
- feedback to specific queries via email, with responses being made available to all via SurreyLearn or during tutorials as appropriate.
- further guidance and feedback on the structure of the field report will be provided via a discussion group to be operated via SurreyLearn.
- • to consider the place of both plants and animals in the environment, looking at the dynamics of organisms in ecosystems
- • to investigate plant communities/habitats and what dictates their assembly/ distribution
- • to introduce a range of common UK animal species and their basic ecology
- • to introduce the methods by which ecosystems and their diversity can be surveyed, monitored and reported
- • to provide the student with a skill set applicable to professional practice.
|001||Discuss the mechanisms by which plants and animals respond to their environment.||KP|
|002||Discuss the factors responsible for specific plant communities and their distribution.||KP|
|003||Identify and illustrate the principles ways in which individuals and species, including humans, interact within an ecosystem.||KP|
|004||Apply knowledge of plant and animal communities to suggest appropriate actions/approaches to mitigate impacts.||KP|
|005||Apply learnt skills (both field and computer lab-based) to report previous, monitor present and predict future plant and animal populations.||KP|
|006||To select appropriate strategies/methods/tools to survey plant and animal communities, and to analyse, present and interpret the datasets generated.||KP|
|007||Work co-operatively in teams, all contributing to a single common goal.||CPT|
|008||Conduct and report on investigations.||CPT|
|009||Analyse and interpret numerical data.||CPT|
|010||Undertake field investigations in a responsible/ethical manner whilst demonstrating an awareness for health & safety.||CPT|
C - Cognitive/analytical
K - Subject knowledge
T - Transferable skills
P - Professional/Practical skills
Methods of Teaching / Learning
The learning and teaching strategy is designed to give students a broad understanding of
plant and animal community ecology, whilst providing a foundation set of skills required to survey and report on these communities.
Ecology lectures will focus on three areas: community ecology, population ecology, and habitat/community change (and the interaction of factors responsible for this), and thus provide the foundation for the development of professional survey skills.
The delivery of the skills element will be two-fold, being both class/lab and field-based.
The class/lab component will be based upon student focussed learning, with the intention that there will be a variety of mini ecological exercises on the campus with additional simulations via computer lab practicals/tutorials.
The fieldwork component will focus on study design, species id, data analysis/reporting and practical field experience. Discussions on the range of methods and techniques used professionally will be given during lectures, with students then having the opportunity to apply these via field work and site visits. This will involve working in teams that will allow peer-peer interaction, thus aiding personal understanding and developing transferable/ social interaction skills.
For students undertaking the Biological Sciences programme, the practical element builds upon identification skills developed in module BMS1040. This will not only prepare them for optional final year ecology/zoology modules, but enable them to gain a basic skills set required for a PTY placement within this field. In addition, the foundation provided in this module will give a head-start to those students considering this area for their final thesis/project in year 3. Students enrolled on other programmes who may not have taken BMS1040 will receive adequate training in the formative practical session and can be offered additional support at this time.
The learning and teaching methods include:
Computer lab practical: 3h
Tutorials/ seminars: 4h
Fieldwork/site visits: 11h
Student: 119 hours
Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: BMS2070
Please note, this module has a significant amount of fieldwork and for some sessions there is a need to walk 5km/on uneven ground/up hilly terrain. If you are unsure of this aspect please contact the module leader to discuss this component.
Programmes this module appears in
Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2023/4 academic year.