Advanced Population and Community Ecology

Faculteit Science and Engineering
Jaar 2021/22
Vakcode WMEV008-05
Vaknaam Advanced Population and Community Ecology
Niveau(s) master
Voertaal Engels
Periode semester I b (15-11-2021 till 05-12-2021)

Uitgebreide vaknaam Advanced Population and Community Ecology
Leerdoelen At the end of the course, the student is able to:

1.examine how natural populations are functioning, by defining and analysing the key demographic parameters, and to integrate them into a population model.

2.record presence/absence of individual organisms in the field, and construct a population estimate from such a mark-recapture observation.

3.examine how natural populations could respond to environmental variation through the mechanisms of plasticity and evolutionary change, and apply these to existing data sets by calculating phenotypic flexibility and inheritance.

4.analyse food-web structures and examine how diversity of trophic interactions affects ecosystem stability.
Omschrijving Understanding ecological processes in natural populations often requires an integrated study on how and why populations fluctuate, how they can adjust to environmental changes, and how populations of different organisms interact in food webs and thereby form complex communities. This course is meant to give such an integrative approach to studying natural communities in the wild on different levels of organization, with a strong focus on teaching students important research skills. Basically students should acquire the necessary theory and tools in the fields of population ecology, eco-evolutionary ecology, and community ecology. This course consists of lectures and practicals. Links between levels are given, and why an evolutionary approach can help to better understand ecological and conservation questions.

In the theme Population Ecology topics include:
-Theoretical principles
-Identifying limiting factors
-Estimating abundance & Density in different species groups
-Demographic tools (including Mark-Recapture analysis, mostly centered around birds)

In the theme Evolutionary Ecology & Conservation:
-Predicting the adaptive capacity
-Phenotypic plasticity: Mixed model analyses of reaction norms
-Estimating inheritance and fitness consequences: Using Animal models

In the theme Community Ecology:
-Multiple species, Trophic Interactions, assembly rules
-Food webs, hybrid interaction networks
-Biodiversity – ecosystem functioning
Uren per week
Onderwijsvorm Hoorcollege (LC), Opdracht (ASM), Practisch werk (PRC)
(Lectures, computer practicals, field excursion, assignment)
Toetsvorm Opdracht (AST), Practisch werk (PR), Presentatie (P)
(Practical work 70%, assignment 30% (Grades for assignments and practical should all be sufficient (6 or higher, 5 or lower is not allowed). The quality of participation in discussions can lower or increase your final grade (max. 0.5 point).))
Vaksoort master
Coördinator prof. dr. ir. C. Both
Docent(en) prof. dr. ir. C. Both ,dr. L.L. Govers , M. Nicolaus, PhD. ,prof. dr. H. Olff ,prof. dr. ir. C. Smit
Verplichte literatuur
Titel Auteur ISBN Prijs
Information (papers, literature, etc) available on Nestor
Entreevoorwaarden The course requires general background from a BSc Biology or similar programme.
Opmerkingen Register for this course by sending an email to:

Capacity: max. 25 students
Opgenomen in
Opleiding Jaar Periode Type
MSc Ecology and Evolution: Ecology and Conservation  ( Track Ecology and Conservation) - semester I b verplicht
MSc Ecology and Evolution: Evolutionary Biology  (Electives/optional modules) - semester I b keuze
MSc Marine Biology: Research  (Compulsory master courses) - semester I b keuze