LPLF10323U  Plants in Populations, Communities and Ecosystems

Volume 2013/2014
Erasmus Mundus - Agris Mundus
MSc Programme in Agriculture

- Plant population ecology: dispersal, establishment, demography, density dependence, population growth, regulation and extinction, plant strategies

- Population interactions: competition, herbivory, parasitism and disease, allelopathy

- Plant community ecology: community structure, succession, species diversity, invasive plants, plant conservation

- Plant in ecosystems: primary production, climate and vegetation, world’s terrestrial vegetation types 

Learning Outcome

Students in the course will become familiar with all the major questions and methods in modern plant ecology.

These include knowledge of the factors that determine the abundance and distribution of plants, and how these  factors can be investigated scientifically, and how current knowledge can be applied to solve applied problems.  Students will obtain an understanding how modern ecological science is done with plants, starting with  observation and natural history, description of patterns, building of models and theories, and making and testing  of hypotheses.


- Understand and apply current “state of the art” scientific knowledge about the factors that determine the  abundance and distribution of plants, including, abiotic factors such as climate and biotic factors such as  competition, herbivory, parasitism.

- Be aware of the difference between scientific and ethical issues in management of plant populations and  communities, and their overlap


- Describe plant populations and communities quantitatively

- Use plant ecological theories to develop and test hypotheses

- Apply ecological principles to solve applied problems in ecosystem management and plant production

- Judge alternative solutions to applied problems concerning plant populations and communities

- Use demographic methods to analyze the condition of plant populations


- Understand and criticize research in all major areas of plant ecology

- Develop hypotheses to explain the patterns in plant distribution and abundance

- Discuss both the scientific and ethical aspect of applied problems concerning plant populations and communities


Introductory courses in ecology, botany and statistics
Lectures with discussions, exercises and excursions, student presentations followed by student-led discussions, teacher-led discussions of articles, group work
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Continuous assessment
one presentation, one report (individual), three smaller written exams
one presentation, four smaller written exams

report 20%, exams 60%, presentation 20%
exams 80%, presentation 20%
Exam registration requirements
Participation in at least 75% of the individual course activities and participation in both all-day excursions
Without aids

No materials at written exams
All materials allowed for reports and presentations

Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
One internal examiner
4hrs written examination
Criteria for exam assesment

See learning outcome

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 32
  • Theory exercises
  • 8
  • Colloquia
  • 14
  • Project work
  • 24
  • Exam
  • 6
  • Guidance
  • 2
  • Excursions
  • 16
  • Practical exercises
  • 8
  • Preparation
  • 96
  • Total
  • 206