Programme/Approved Electives for 2023/24
Available as a Free Standing Elective
This module draws two key themes of ecology and plant biology together, teaching you key elements of both. The plant kingdom constitutes 80% of the biomass of life and plants are the base of most food chains on the planet. Hence the study of the classification of plants and the structure and function of their key systems is vital for any scientist with interests at the organismal level and upward. Ecology is the study of where organisms live, how they interact with other organisms and their physical environment. Ecology is fundamental to understanding habitat health and human impacts on the environment.
Talis Aspire Reading ListAny reading lists will be provided by the start of the course.http://lists.lib.keele.ac.uk/modules/lsc-10083/lists
To introduce students to the principles of ecology in a range of habitats and through lectures, workshops and data analysis. Students will become competent in the identification of key taxa, with a focus on plants. Botanical concepts and relevant plant anatomy and physiology will also be explored. Students will be able to describe the abiotic and biotic characteristics of different habitats and explain some of their notable species interactions and threats to those habitats.
Intended Learning Outcomes
Identify the key taxa of plants, fungi and invertebrates important in the habitats studied on the module: 1,3Describe the key structures of plants and discuss their functions and adaptations to various habitats: 3Explain the principles of ecological study and produce a research proposal to answer an ecological question: 2Describe the nature of symbioses and discuss their importance in a range of habitats: 1,3Define the key abiotic and biotic features of different habitats, the species interactions therein and summarise and identify some of the major threats to these: 1
13 hours tutorials / workshops 24 hours (active learning - lectures). 16 hours field work. 2 hours test20 hours essay preparation20 hours research proposal preparation30 hours test preparation175 hours independent study
The module is compulsory for SH Biology, Environmental Science and Environment and Sustainability.It would only be open to BSc Natural Science level 4 as an elective module therefore would have a co-requisite of students only being able to select it as an elective if NAT-10001 is also being taken.
1: Essay weighted 30%
Description of Module Assessment
1000 word essayStudents will write a 1000 word essay on the characteristics, species interactions and threats to a habitat. Habitat types will be allocated to students randomly.
2: Research Proposal weighted 30%
Ecological research proposalStudents will create a research proposal that aims to answer an ecological question. This question could be based on the habitat investigated in the first assessment, (habitats essay), could be addressing an ecological question based on Keele campus or a habitat of interest local to the student. The research proposal will present the background context to the ecological question and will describe and justify the survey and data analysis methodologies chosen. The proposal word count is 1000 words.3: Class Test weighted 40%
Online class testOnline class test covering the core learning materials from the module, comprising MCQ/SAQ questions testing core knowledge and understanding. Duration will be 1-hour expected active working time with an assessment window of 2-hours, held in semester two assessment period. Formative questions will also be provided to support preparation.