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BZ3210 - Rainforest Ecosystems

Credit points: 3
Year: 2014
Student Contribution Band: Band 2
Administered by: School of Marine & Tropical Biology (pre 2015)

This subject covers aspects of the ecology of Australian closed forests and associated vegetation, including origins, classification and factors determining distribution and diversity, and responses to environmental stresses (including global climate change). Dynamic features of rainforest vegetation will be considered, including effects of disturbance, succession and gap-phase regeneration; nutrient cycling, nutrient and water conserving mechanisms; productivity, light climate and photosynthesis; rainforest fauna, herbivory and plant defence mechanisms; phenology and seasonality of rainforest plants.

There are additional charges for this subject; please contact the School for details.

Learning Outcomes

  • to develop an appreciation of the factors which need to be considered in the conservation and management of rainforests;
  • to gain an understanding of the ecology of rainforests, with emphasis on Australian communities;
  • to gain experience in identifying rainforest plants and the basic techniques used to describe vegetation and soils;
  • to introduce students to current rainforest research being undertaken in the school;
  • to undertake a small project designed to introduce students to research techniques in an area of personal interest, providing them with an indication of what is involved in honours or postgraduate research projects;
  • to provide fundamental knowledge of how rainforest organisms respond to the environments in which they live.
Students enrolling in this subject should have a good understanding of organismal biology,including at least two second year BZ,MB or EV subjects.
Prerequisites: (BZ1003 OR BT1001 OR AG1003 OR BZ2610 OR BZ1007 OR BZ1006) AND (6CP of level 2 BZ, MB or EV)


Townsville, Internal, Study Period 2
Census Date 28-Aug-2014
Coord/Lect: Professor Joseph Holtum.
Workload expectations:
  • 26 hours lectures
  • 9 hours practicals
  • 30 hours fieldwork
Assessment: end of semester exam (55%); project 35%; field and laboratory performance 10%; (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.