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BZ2880 - Ecology: Distribution, Abundance and Diversity

Credit points: 3
Year: 2019
Student Contribution Band: Band 2
Administered by: College of Science and Engineering

This subject is an introduction to the key ideas in the ecology of plants and animals. This subject emphasizes the techniques and methods used to explain the distribution and abundance of species and how these measures help us understand the causes of extinction. This subject also explores how populations of individual species combine to determine local and global patterns in species diversity. Topics include fertility and mortality; population dynamics and population regulation; life history strategies; interactions between species (competition, facilitation, predation, herbivory, parasitism); dynamics of communities; island biogeography; limits to the co-existence of species.

Learning Outcomes

  • ability to critically assess ecological hypotheses;
  • appreciation of the relationship between ecological theory and conservation and management of natural populations and communities;
  • be familiar with key concepts in population and community ecology.
Students enrolling in this subject should have a good understanding of level 1 biology or environmental science and quantitative skills, including the following or their equivalents: BZ1005 or at least two BZ or EV subjects.
Prerequisites: (BZ1005) OR (6 credit points of BZ or EV or EA level 1 subjects)
BZ5440 BZ2440 BZ5880 BS5460


Cairns, Study Period 2, Internal
Census Date 29-Aug-2019
Coordinator: Assoc. Professor Lucas Cernusak
Lecturers: Professor Susan Laurance, Assoc. Professor Lucas Cernusak.
Workload expectations:

The student workload for this 3 credit point subject is approximately 130 hours.

  • 26 hours lectures
  • 15 hours tutorials
  • 15 hours practicals
  • assessment and self-directed study
Assessment: presentations (15%); tutorial attendance and participation (20%); assignments (20%); centrally-administered final exam (45%).

Note: Minor variations might occur due to the continuous Subject quality improvement process, and in case of minor variation(s) in assessment details, the Subject Outline represents the latest official information.