NBIK13006U  Macro Ecology

Volume 2013/2014
Msc Programme in Biology
MSc Programme in Agriculture
Species’ distribution and abundance from community to global scale:
  • Basics: Species concepts, Biomes, Biogeography
  • The role of history, evolution, climate, climate change and biotic interactions in shaping diversity patterns
  • Spatial diversity gradients: Area, Latitude, Altitude/depth, Isolation, Habitat diversity, Productivity
  • Temporal diversity gradients: Geological, Geomorphological, Historical, Evolutionary and Ecological time scales
  • Community scale: Niches, Filters, Competition, Mutualism, Disturbance, Succession, Species pools
  • Macro scale: Diversity-stability, Diversity-productivity, Equilibrium theory, Geometrical constraints, Vicariance, Speciation
  • Testing: Experimentation, Simulation, Null models
Learning Outcome
  • Knowledge on diversity patterns of organisms from local to global scale
  • Understanding of the processes that determine species distributions and abundances
  • Operational understanding of theories on how communities are assembled



  • Identify and describe diversity patterns from local to global scale
  • Suggest and investigate possible diversity pattern-shaping mechanisms
  • Evaluate, compare and elaborate theories behind diversity patterns
  • Apply and interpret relevant statistical tools and tests
  • Contribute on a scientific basis to debates concerning management of biodiversity in light of global changes in land-use and climate.



  • Ability to evaluate theories about diversity patterns and processes
  • Ability to use and interpret relevant computational tools and test methods
  • Conceptual basis to contribute to management practice and opinion formation
See Absalon.
The course expands the bachelor courses Biodiversity and Conservation biology, but these courses are not a precondition.
Two weekly two hours lectures.
Three to five exercise hours that may be:
Readings of papers with submission of short essay
Operational exercises (mainly calculus)
The course is part of the qualification profile Ecology and Evolution. The course is one of the two mandatory courses of the profile. For all courses of the qualification profiles, see Course Portal for Department of Biology.
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written examination, 4 hours under invigilation
Exam registration requirements
It is mandatory to participate in exercises and to hand in article essays and exercise reports.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
Re-exam is oral.
Criteria for exam assesment
The grade 12 will given to solutions that fully demonstrate mastership of the abilities in the competence list, combined with some original approaches. To obtain the grade 02 the solution must at least demonstrate knowledge to basic principles and approaches according to the subjects in the list.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Exam
  • 4
  • Preparation
  • 137
  • Lectures
  • 30
  • Colloquia
  • 15
  • Practical exercises
  • 20
  • Total
  • 206