ECOL07002 2014 Ecological Monitoring

General Details

Full Title
Ecological Monitoring
Transcript Title
Ecological Monitoring
N/A %
Subject Area
ECOL - Ecology
ESCI - Environmental Science
07 - NFQ Level 7
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_SENVI_J07 201300 Bachelor of Science in Science in Environmental Protection SG_SSCIE_H08 201600 Bachelor of Science (Honours) SG_SSCIE_H08 201700 Bachelor of Science (Honours)

This module descibes the use of boindicators and bioindices in ecological monitoring. The module focuses on the legislative ecological monitoring requirements to assess progress in achieving objectives of a wide range of EU legislation in particular the EU Water Framework, Birds and Habitats Directives. This module provides an introduction to ecological monitoring in a variety of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. It describes the use of bioindicators and bioindices as an essential component of environmental monitoring and in the assessment of environemtal quality. Biodiversity assessment using a range of biodiversity measures and indices will be taught. Practical work will involve visits to a range of sites to sample, identify and apply a selection of monitoring methods.

Learning Outcomes

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


Describe a range of bioindicators and bioindices that can be used in the monitoring of air, water and terrestrial environmental quality


Demonstrate an ability to critically evaluate ecological monitoring systems currently used for condition assessment for various EU Directives


Critique the use of ecological monitoring versus physial and chemical monitoring in assessment of environmental qiuality


Evaluate the ecological condition of freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems using appropriate bioindicators and bioindices


Describe bioiversity and its assessment using a range of indices (e.g. similarity, diversity and rarity).

Module Assessment Strategies

Module will be assessed using a combination of end of semester final exam (50%), continuous assessment and course work (50%). The continuous assessment and course work will involve two written scientific reports. In additional there will be an end of semester practical assignment where students are required to analyse and interpret ecological monitoring data from a hypothetical site under investigation.

Indicative Syllabus

Introduction to ecological monitoring, bioindicators and bioindices

Ecological survey methodologies - sampling considerations

Ecological monitoring requirements of EU Directives

Ecological monitoring of aquatic ecosystems (algae and invertebrates)

Ecological monitoring of terrestrial ecosystems (plants, invertebrates, birds and habitat condition assessment)

Biodiversity and its assessment


Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

End of Semester / Year Formal Exam
100 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Written Report Two written scientific reports Continuous Assessment UNKNOWN 30 % OnGoing 2,4,5
2 Practical Evaluation Analyse and interpret ecological monitoring data from a hypothetical site under investigation Continuous Assessment UNKNOWN 20 % Week 13 2,3,4

End of Semester / Year Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Final Exam End of semester examination Final Exam UNKNOWN 50 % End of Term 1,2,3,5

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
Spellerberg, I.F. 2005. Monitoring Ecological Change, 2nd edition. Cambridge University Press.
Treweek, J. 2009. Ecological Impact Assessment. Wiley-Blackwell.
Hill, D., Fasham, M., Tucker, G., Shewry, M. & Shaw. P. 2005. Handbook of Biodiversity Methods: survey, evaluation and monitoring. Cambridge University Press
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