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BZ3235 - Biological Invasions

Credit points: 3
Year: 2021
Student Contribution Band: Band 2
Administered by: College of Science and Engineering

Invasive species pose a significant threat to the maintenance of ecosystem services and the conservation of native species. Australian local, state, and federal governments collectively spend billions of dollars annually to prevent the establishment of new invaders and mitigate damage from those that have established. This subject provides an overview of the biology and ecology of invasive species, with a focus on plant, animal, and microbial invaders in tropical ecosystems. The subject will cover characteristics of invasive species and processes involved in their introduction, establishment, and spread. The subject will also emphasize ecological effects of invaders and the challenges of invasive species management and control with historical and contemporary examples.

Learning Outcomes

  • to develop an understanding of the diversity of life histories, habitats and biology among plants and animals and how they influence species invasions;
  • to understand the theory behind biological invasions and biotic resistance;
  • to appreciate the scientific and practical considerations necessary in the design of management programs for invasive species;
  • to participate in scientific and policy discussions and debates;
  • to critically assess scientific literature.

Subject Assessment

  • Written > Test/Quiz 1 - (15%) - Individual
  • Critical appraisal and review - (35%) - Individual
  • Performance/Practice/Product > Creative work - (25%) - Individual
  • Herbarium practical assessment/skills demonstration + peer review - (25%) - Individual.
Students enrolling in this subject should have a good understanding of biological diversity (BZ1006 or BS1007 or equivalent).
Prerequisites: BZ1006 OR BS1007 OR BZ1007 OR BZ1004 OR BZ1003 OR AG1007


Cairns, Study Period 1, Internal
Census Date 25-Mar-2021
Coord/Lect: Assoc. Professor Lori Lach.
Workload expectations:

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

  • 26 hours lectures (didactic or interactive)
  • 39 hours tutorials - tutorials/practicals/potential field work
  • assessment and self-directed study

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.