By taking this course you will increase your understanding of the physical, chemical and biological processes or events that link organisms and their environment. Through a combination of lectures and exercises you will gain both theoretical and practical understanding of ecosystems and ecosystem analysis. You will learn about ecosystem processes, ecosystem-atmosphere exchange, aquatic systems and biogeography. You will also carry out an individual literature project that will teach you how to asses and draw conclusions from scientific literature. After taking the course you should also be able to understand how ecosystems function and discuss how they may respond to a changing climate and environment.
Practical skill training
Through project work and exercises you will learn different measurement methodologies, such as vegetation inventory, data analysis and visualisation, chemical soil and vegetation analysis and measurements of carbon dioxide exchange between soil, vegetation and atmosphere. The exercises will also provide experience of group work, report writing and oral presentation. You will also learn how to plan and carry out a field study within the subject of ecosystem analysis. This will be done during a one-week field trip to the island of Öland where you perform a study and thereafter compile data, present your finding and discuss these in a larger scientific context.
Teaching on the course consists of lectures, practical exercises, field trips, seminars, groups and individual project work. The examination of the course is done by a traditional written exam and assessment of project work.
Principles of Terrestrial Ecosystem Ecology (2nd Edition), 2012,
Authors: F. Stuart Chapin III, Pamela A. Matson, Peter M. Vitousek