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BZ3220 - Population and Community Ecology

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

Animals and plants live in populations. Groups of populations inhabiting the same area make up biological communities. Processes operating at these levels control the biodiversity of habitats and regions. This subject presents the conceptual framework needed to understand these processes and illustrates that framework using examples drawn from many systems including tropical rainforests, which are among the most complex and diverse ecological systems in existence. Topics presented include population growth, species interactions, community patterns and dynamics, food webs and the effects of disturbance and scaling on diversity. In addition to an increased understanding of concepts, students gain hands-on experience in tropical research.

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

Learning Outcomes

  • gain an ability to critically evaluate original research;
  • understand how communities can be defined and measured and how processes act at the community level;
  • understand the composition and structure of rainforest communities and how they are affected by basic processes;
  • understand modern concepts of population processes and species interactions and their relation to the structure and function of biological communities.
Students enrolling in this subject should have a good understanding of ecology at level 2 and biological statistics, and should have completed BS2460 and SC2202 or SC2209 or equivalents.
Prerequisites: (SC2202 OR SC2209 OR BS2001 OR BZ2001 OR AG2001) AND (BS2460 OR MB2060 OR 3CP of Level 2 BZ)
BZ5220 BZ5230 ZL3042 ZL5042


Townsville, Study Period 2, Internal
Census Date 29-Aug-2019
Coordinator: Professor Stephen Williams
Lecturers: Professor Stephen Williams, Dr Conrad Hoskin, Dr Ben Hirsch.
Workload expectations:

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

  • 26 hours lectures
  • 9 hours tutorials
  • 24 hours fieldwork
  • assessment and self-directed study
Assessment: end of semester exam (50%); tutorial attendance and participation (15%); essays (20%); field note book (15%).

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.