LSC-10083 - Ecology and Plant Biology
Coordinator: Thomast Torode
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 4
Credits: 30
Study Hours: 300
School Office: 01782 734414

Programme/Approved Electives for 2022/23


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2022/23

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.

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.

Talis Aspire Reading List
Any reading lists will be provided by the start of the course.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Identify the key taxa of plants, fungi and invertebrates important in the habitats studied on the module: 1,2,3
Describe the key structures of plants and discuss their functions and adaptations to various habitats: 1,2,3
Explain the principles of ecological study and produce a research proposal to answer an ecological question: 1,2,3
Describe the nature of symbioses and discuss their importance in a range of habitats: 1,2,3
Define the key abiotic and biotic features of different habitats, the species interactions therein and summarise and identify some of the major threats to these: 1,2,3

Study hours

13 hours tutorials / workshops
10x 5 hours engagement with asynchronous content
2 hours test
20 hours essay preparation
20 hours research proposal preparation
30 hours test preparation
165 hours independent study

School Rules

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.

Description of Module Assessment

1: Essay weighted 30%
1000 word essay
Students 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 proposal
Students 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: Online Tasks weighted 40%
Online test/class test
This paper will be released as a timed test in Blackboard. Students will find a link to this test on KLE on the day of the assessment. Once started, students will be given 2 hrs to complete. This is 1 hour more than we expect most students will actually need. International students will be asked to notify the School if they need an extension due to different time zones.