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BZ5210 - Ecology of Tropical Forest Ecosystems

Credit points: 3
Year: 2012
Student Contribution Band: Band 4
Administered by: School of Marine & Tropical Biology

Postgraduate Diploma of Research Methods, Master of Applied Science, Graduate Diploma of Science, Graduate Certificate of Science, Graduate Diploma of Science, Graduate Certificate of Development Practice, Graduate Diploma of Development Practice, Master of Science, Masters of Development Practice and Bachelor of Science (Advanced).

Aspects of the ecology of tropical forests, including classification, origins, factors determining distribution and diversity, management and conservation. Community dynamics, including gap-phase regeneration, nutrient cycling, productivity and phenology. Field work on identification, description and measurement of rainforest vegetation and soils. Students will be expected to attend BZ3210 lectures, practicals, field trips and additional classes.

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, and fundamental knowledge of how rainforest organisms respond to environments in which they live;
  • 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.

Graduate Qualities

  • The ability to define and to solve problems in at least one discipline area;
  • The ability to think critically, to analyse and evaluate claims, evidence and arguments, and to reason and deploy evidence clearly and logically;
  • The ability to find and access information using appropriate media and technologies;
  • The ability to evaluate that information;
  • The ability to select and organise information and to communicate it accurately, cogently, coherently, creatively and ethically;
  • The acquisition of coherent and disciplined sets of skills, knowledge, values and professional ethics from at least one discipline area;
  • The ability to reflect on and evaluate learning, and to learn independently in a self directed manner;
  • The ability to generate, calculate, interpret and communicate numerical information in ways appropriate to a given discipline or discourse;
  • The ability to lead, manage and contribute effectively to teams;
  • The ability to work with people of different gender, age, ethnicity, culture, religion and political persuasion;
  • The ability to work individually and independently;
  • The ability to select and use appropriate tools and technologies.
Students enrolling in this subject should have an undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline (e.g. biology or environmental science) or have acquired equivalent knowledge through other study. They should have an excellent understanding of quantitative methods in biology and ecological principles (BZ5001 and BZ5440 or equivalent).


Townsville, Study Period 2, Internal
Census Date 23-Aug-2012
Coordinator: Dr Robert Congdon
Lecturers: Dr Robert Congdon, Empro Ross Alford.
Workload expectations:
  • 26 hours lectures
  • 9 hours practicals
  • 30 hours fieldwork
Assessment: end of semester exam (44%); assignments (20%); project (20%); poster (8%); field work and laboratory performance (8%).

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.