NPLK14010U Tropical Botany A

Volume 2017/2018

MSc Programme in Agricultural Development


The various genera will be reviewed in groups according to use/type: Timbers, cereals, pseudo-cereals, root and tuber crops, pulses, oil plants, sugar plants, vegetables, stimulant (incl. medicinal)plants, spices, fruits, technical plants, forages, and the most common pantropical weeds. Also commonly used ornamentals will be studied.
The course will be a necessary prerequisite to all who expect to be working with tropical agriculture, forestry, agro-forestry, horticulture, animal husbandry in the tropics and food and nutritional technology. Students contemplating a career within agencies or institutions in the developing countries will find the course to be of relevance.
The final three-week field course to Guatemala conducted in collaboration with the assistance of local colleagues from Univ. San Carlos de Guatemala cover a wide variation of ecological environments, agricultural systems, natural vegetation types as well as urban parks.


Learning Outcome

Learning outcome
The overall learning outcome is to provide students with the necessary skills and competences through both theoretical as well as in-situ practical experiences to study tropical agriculture, forestry, horticulture, crop protection in the tropics, tropical plant pathology, animal husbandry, tropical landscape architecture or other tropical and Third World subjects.

- of tropical plants of agronomic, forestry and horticultural importance, and the specific utilised parts of each plant
- of selected tropical plant families and their origin and ecology
- of the correct scientific and English names of tropical plants

Comprehends the causal connections of abiotic/biotic ecological factors in tropical regions
Comprehends adequate botanical/ecological knowledge of tropical plants as a prerequisite to study and/or work with economic botany within the fields of cultivation, breeding and technological problems within the fields of agriculture, forestry, horticulture incl. crop protection, and animal husbandry in the tropics

Is aware of:
- tropical plants as a genetic resource and the importance of maintaining tropical biodiversity
- can reflect on problems and risks in relation to development of tropical regions
- can identify problems in sustainable tropical plant production, can respond, reflect, and is able to discuss the choice of preferable crops


See Absalon for list of course literature

Teaching and learning Methods
During the initial two thirds of the course lectures reviewing the syllabus and one weekly tutorial will be conducted. During the final third of the course the participants will be expected to work in groups with subjects/problems of their own choice resulting in the presentation of a report. The course will be concluded by an oral examination in the most important genera. The course aims to provide a thorough knowledge of an individually chosen number of plant families equal to approx. 60 textbook pages. The relevant families may be identified according to agricultural, forestry or horticultural interest. During the course time allotted for lectures and tutorial will be used for a combination of group work with supervision/instruction within the chosen number of plant families and in preparation of the course report. In the group work dried/live plant material, textbooks, floras, reference books as well as internet site and other illustrative material will be used. For the oral exam both the individually chosen plant families as well as the course report will be included in the examination requirements. A single mark for the combined evaluation of oral examination and the course report will be given. Field trips to the Botanical Garden will be included. During the introductory field course to Guatemala (1/3 of the course) excursions in combination with on-site lectures reviewing the multidisciplinary aspects of the different soils, crops and production systems will be conducted. In addition, field exercises with supervision/instruction in study groups – according to common research field - will form an integrated part of the daily work. During the last third of the course the participants will be expected to work in groups with subjects/problems prepared by the lecturers resulting in the presentation of a report which will conclude this element of the course.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Exam
  • 2
  • Excursions
  • 195
  • Guidance
  • 20
  • Lectures
  • 20
  • Practical exercises
  • 37
  • Preparation
  • 108
  • Project work
  • 30
  • Total
  • 412
Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 30 min
Written assignment
Oral exam (without preparation time) accounts for 33,3%, the course assignment for 33,3% and the field course assignement 33,3% towards to the total mark
Exam registration requirements

Student oral presentation of chosen 'crop(s)'

Without aids
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiners

As the ordinary exam. Course assignment and field course assignment must be submitted 2 weeks before re-exam

If the requirements are not met the student must do the presentation before the re-exam by appointment with the course coordinator.

Criteria for exam assesment

See learning outcome