Ecosystem Function & Services
Ecosystem Function & Services 2023-24
School of Environmental & Natural Sciences
Module - Semester 2
Understanding how ecosystems work and what critical services they provide is fundamental to your degree. This module will teach aspects of biodiversity, soil science, and matter cycles (water, nutrient and carbon) within an ecosystem context. The processes which define ecosystems will be used to illustrate the services they deliver, particularly biomass and carbon sequestration. The module will give you an overview of biodiversity, ecosystem development, soil formation and properties, carbon and nutrient fluxes, covering diverse systems, from polar to tropical regions. The module will also examine ecosystem and plant tolerance to abiotic and biotic stress, which will be demonstrated using case studies from a range of ecosystem types. The material will be covered though lectures and several practical sessions in the laboratory and field; helping you to understand and apply the theory into practice.
- Introduction ecosystem concepts and matter flows
- Ecosystem services
- Ecosystem development
- Ecosystem Function & Biodiversity models
- Ecosystem productivity
- Ecosystem collapse
- Climate and microclimate
- Soil formation
- Soil mineralogy and weathering
- Soil organic matter and chemical properties
- Ecosystem productivity
- Food webs and below-ground biodiversity
- Above and below-ground biodiversity
- Root processes
- Plant water relations
- Plant reproduction
- Plant structure
- Photosynthesis types, pigments, environmental control
- Plant stress tolerance I (moisture stress)
- Plant stress tolerance II (heat and cold)
- Temperate grasslands
- Wetlands and salt marshes
- Polar ecosystems
Practicals a) Wetland Ecology and GHG b) Soil Field Trip c) Water Quality - Nitrate practical d) Plant Reproduction / ecophysiology
-threshold -Grade D- to D+ Understanding of the concepts of ecosystem and their developments, soils and soil properties, and element fluxes in ecosystems.
-good -Grade B- to B+ Good understanding of the concepts of ecosystem and their development, soils and soil properties, and element fluxes in ecosystems. The ability to interlink the ecosystems, soils and element fluxes.
-excellent -Grade A- and above In-depth understanding of the concepts of ecosystem and their development, soils and soil properties, and element fluxes in ecosystems. Understanding of the complexity of ecosystem and how biodiversity, soils and element fluxes determine the properties of ecosystems, as well as and understanding of these in key ecosystems.
- Appreciation of the ecosystem function of a number of key ecosystems.
- Understanding of soils and soil development.
- Understanding of the concept of ecosystems and their dynamic nature.
- Understanding of the process involved in ecosystems carbon fluxes, such as photosynthesis, food webs and decomposition.
Field Ttrip (Wetlands C and N diagrams)
Clinical Practical Assessment
Lab (Nitrate practical)
Lab (Plant reproduction / ecophysiology)
Exam (Centrally Scheduled)