NBIK15015U Macroecology and Community Ecology

Volume 2016/2017

MSc Programme in Biology
MSc Programme in Agriculture
MSc Programme in Nature Management


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.
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)
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Colloquia
  • 15
  • Exam
  • 4
  • Lectures
  • 28
  • Practical exercises
  • 20
  • Preparation
  • 139
  • Total
  • 206
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written examination, 4 hours under invigilation
Exam registration requirements

It is mandatory to to hand in article essays and exercise reports. The essays and exercise reports must be approved by the teacher.

All aids allowed

NB: If the exam is held at the ITX, the ITX will provide computers. Private computer, tablet or mobile phone CANNOT be brought along to the exam. Books and notes should be brought on paper or saved on a USB key.


Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship

If the requirement of handing in approved article essays and exercise reports is not fulfilled, it can be fulfilled before the reexamination. The student must hand in required article essays and exercise reports no later than two weeks before the registration period for reexamination ends and the hand ins must be approved by the teacher.

Re-exam is oral. 20 minutes with 20 minutes of preparation. All aids allowed.

Criteria for exam assesment

The grade 12 is given to solutions that fully demonstrate mastership of the abilities in the learning outcome of the course, 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.