COURSE GOALS: The course aims to provide students with the basic knowledge about Ecology (as science). The students will have the opportunity to become familiar with the breath of Ecology and to begin to develop an understanding of basic facts, principles, and concepts.
LEARNING OUTCOMES AT THE LEVEL OF THE PROGRAMME:
2. APPLYING KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
2.3. recognize and follow the logic of arguments, evaluate the adequacy of arguments and construct well supported arguments
3.1. develop a critical scientific attitude towards research in general, and in particular by learning to critically evaluate arguments, assumptions, abstract concepts and data
4.1. communicate effectively with pupils and colleagues;
4.4. use the written and oral English language communication skills that are essential for pursuing a career in physics and education
LEARNING OUTCOMES SPECIFIC FOR THE COURSE:
Upon passing the course on General Ecology, the student will be able to:
1. describe the basic principles of ecology,
2. identify physical resources and explain the relationship between organisms and the physical environment,
3. assess key concepts of ecosystem functioning,
4. record and explain species interactions,
5. plan the experimental work in ecology,
6. recognize the negative aspects of human activity on the environment.
Lectures per weeks (15 weeks in total):
1. Definitions of ecology, objects and aims. Subdisciplines in ecology. Ecology as an interdisciplinary science. The abiotic factors and conditions for life; ecological valence.
2. Temperature as an ecological factor. The effects of temperature on organisms. Principles of heat transfer. Poikilotherms, homeotherms, and heterotherms.
3. Light as an ecological factor. Organism adaptations to light stimuli; circadian rhythms, photoperiodism and seasonality, bioluminescence.
4. Water and metabolic gases. Water cycles between Earth and the atmosphere. Moisture as an ecological factor. Organism adaptations for water balance. Oxygen and carbon dioxide in water and atmosphere.
5. Properties of populations; population density, dispersion, age structure, population growth and life history patterns. Patterns of population fluctuation. Metapopulation. Theories of population regulation.
6. Interspecific interactions; intraspecific and interspecific competition, ecological niche, the effects of competition. Symbiosis, mutualism, commensalism and amensalism.
7. Interspecific interactions; predation, predator and prey adaptations, the Lotka-Volterra model, functional and numerical responses to predation. Parasitism, parasites adaptations.
8. Community Structure, Biodiversity, ecotone and succession.
9. Ecosystem energetic, primary and secondary production and trophic structure.
10. Biogeochemical cycles; nitrogen, phosphorus, sulphur, carbon, oxygen and hydrogen.
11. Global environmental change (global warming, the ozone hole, acid rains and habitat loss).
12. Biomes and the major terrestrial ecosystems; tundra, grasslands, shrublands and deserts, taiga, temperate and tropical forests.
13. Structure and function of freshwater ecosystems; wetlands, streams and lakes.
14. Terrestrial and aquatic habitat degradation
15. The major features of marine ecosystems
Seminars( 15 weeks in total):
1. Light pollution
3. Symbiotic relationships
5. Invasive species
6. Genetically modified organisms and genetic engineering
7. The radioactive pollution
8. Water pollution
9. Nuclear waste disposal problems and solutions
10. Oil pollution
11. Renewable energy sources and their importance
12. Acid rain and its ecological consequence
13. Ozone and ozone holes
14. Global warming
15. Electronic waste disposal problems
REQUIREMENTS FOR STUDENTS:
Students must solve 50% of the written exams (two times in the semester) and present seminar.
GRADING AND ASSESSING THE WORK OF STUDENTS:
Grading and assessing the work of students during the semesters:
* Two written exams
Grading at the end of semester:
* final oral exam (optional)
Contributions to the final grade:
* 5% of the grade will be based on presence
* 15% of the grade is carried by the results of the seminar
* 80% of the grade is carried by the results of the two written exams or final oral exam
- Mihaljević, Z., Opća ekologija. Nastavni materijali. www.pmf.unizg.hr/biol/predmet/opceko_b
- Smith, R. L., Smith, T.M., 2006. Elements of Ecology. Pearson, Benjamin/Cummings Science Publishing, ISBN 0-321-41029-7
- Ternjej, I., Kerovec, M., Tomev Mitrikeski, P., Jelenić, S., Mihaljević, Z., 2014. Živi svijet 4. Profil, Zagreb.
- Glavač, V., 1999. Uvod u globalnu ekologiju. Državna uprava za zaštitu prirode i okoliša/Hrvatske šume, javno poduzeće za gospodarenje šumama i šumskim zemljištima u Republici Hrvatskoj, Zagreb, ISBN 953-6793-01-6