ECOL06007 2014 Terrestrial Ecology

General Details

Full Title
Terrestrial Ecology
Transcript Title
Terrestrial Ecology
N/A %
Subject Area
ECOL - Ecology
ESCI - Environmental Science
06 - NFQ Level 6
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2014 - Full Academic Year 2014-15
End Term
2019 - Full Academic Year 2019-20
Billy Fitzgerald, Declan Feeney, Dolores Byrne, James Moran
Programme Membership
SG_SENER_B07 201300 Bachelor of Science in Energy, Sustainability

This module introduces the fundamental concepts of terrestrial ecology through developing an understanding of the abiotic and biotic interactions of terrrestrial ecosystems. It includes examples from a range of terrestrial ecosystems including coastal, peatlands and heathlands, grasslands and forests. Students are introduced to the terrestrial environment and life in terrestrial ecosystems. The abiotic and biotic component of various terrestrial ecosystems is described reinforced by practical elements covering the sampling and classification of terrestrial habitats and their communities.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


Describe the fundamental ecological concepts of populations, communities and environment interactions of a range of twerrestrial ecosystems (peatland, grassland, forest and coastal)


Demonstrate an understanding of the biotic and abiotic components of a range of terrestrial ecosystems


Recognise the dynamics of terrestrial ecosystems and explain energy flow and nutrient cycling in a range of terrestrial ecosystems


Identify and classify terrestrial habitats using both Irish and international habitat classification systems


Collect and interpret sample data from selected terrestrial habitats

Module Assessment Strategies

Module will be assessed using a combination of end of semester final exam (40%), continuous assessment and course work (60%). The continuous assessment and course work will involve two in class theory assessments incorporating a series of short and multiple choice questions. Practical work will be assessed via a laboratory and field notebook and two written scientific reports (summative and diagnostic assessment).

Indicative Syllabus

Introduction to terrestrial ecology (Populations, Communities and Ecosystems)

The terrestrial environment

Terrestrial ecosystem structure

Terrestrial food webs and trophic structure

Terrestrial biomes

Soils and vegetation

Vegetation and plant communities

Terrestrial plant-herbivore interactions

Introduction to structure and function of a range of terrestrial ecosystems (peatlands, grasslands, forests and coastal)

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

End of Semester / Year Formal Exam
100 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Short Answer Questions Two in class assessments (short and multiple choice questions) Continuous Assessment UNKNOWN 20 % Any 1,2,3
2 Practical Evaluation Lab and field notebook (accurate record of practical work) Continuous Assessment UNKNOWN 15 % OnGoing 2,4,5
3 Written Report Two written scientific reports on practical work Continuous Assessment UNKNOWN 25 % OnGoing 4,5

End of Semester / Year Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Final Exam Theory end of semester examination Final Exam UNKNOWN 40 % End of Term 1,2,3

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Lecture Theatre Theory lectures 2 Weekly 2.00
Laboratory Practical Science Laboratory Laboratory practicals and field trips 2 Weekly 2.00
Independent Learning UNKNOWN Independent learning 3 Weekly 3.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 4.00 Hours

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources
Agren, G.I. & Andersson, F.O. 2012. Terrestrial Ecosystem Ecology Principles and Applications. Cambridge University Press
Gibson, D.J. 2009. Grasses and Grassland Ecology. Oxford University Press.
Barnes, B.V., Zak, D.R., Denton, S.R. & Spurr, S.H. 1998. Forest Ecology. 4th Edition. Wiley & Sons
Other Resources

Additional resources will be made available on IT Sligo learn online system (Moodle). Will contain pdfs of powerpoint lectures and links to additional reading material for selected topics

Additional Information