Population ecology is concerned with the structure and dynamics of populations. Community ecology is concerned with the interactions of populations with each other and their abiotic environment. Both are crucial for understanding ecosystems and to provide a scientific basis for ecological restoration projects. The course covers population and community-level ecology for terrestrial and aquatic plants and animals that are pertinent to ecological restoration. Topics include the concept of individual fitness, individual behaviour, population dynamics, competition within and among species, predation, parasitism, symbiosis and trophic processes. The use of appropriate sampling methods and application of theories of population and community dynamics are practiced and discussed, using a variety of case studies. Field sessions outside of scheduled class time will be required.
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