NS7912: Ecological Interactions


Please note this module descriptor is indicative of the structure of this course and may be subject to change.

NS7912: Ecological Interactions

Module Title Ecological Interactions
Module Code NS7912
Module Tutor Mark O'Connell
School School of Natural and Social Sciences
CAT Points 15
Level of Study 7
Brief Description

This module examines the complex interactions between species and their biotic and abiotic environments. Biotic will interactions include, but are not limited to, competition, predation, herbivory, parasitism, mutualism, and hybridisation. Abiotic interactions will include habitat selection, ecosystem engineering and bioaccumulation.

Indicative Syllabus

Ecological interactions will be discussed initially from a theoretical standpoint to ensure that key ecological processes are understood in detail. Then, through a case study approach, interactions will be examined from an applied perspective. This will consider: • The implications for such interactions for the species concerned • Cascade effects • How interactions can be studied in the field through research and monitoring programmes • How interactions can be modified by human actions both intentionally and non-intentionally • Management of such interactions within conservation • The role of environmental change (including climatic change) in modifying such interactions

Learning Outcomes

A student passing this module should be able to: 1. Demonstrate detailed understanding of complex ecological interactions and evidence this understanding by drawing on appropriate examples 2. Understand the emergence and development of ecological interaction theory from a historical perspective and show a critical awareness of the gaps in knowledge that still exist and their implications for applied ecology 3. Critically evaluate how ecological interactions might change over time for a specific scenario and the repercussions of such changes 4. Demonstrate a high level of engagement with primary academic literature and practitioner reports to synthesise current knowledge and understanding of a specific topic

Learning and Teaching Activities

Scheduled Contact Hours: 36 Independent Learning Hours: 114

Assessment (For further details see the Module Guide) 001: 100% Coursework: Individual, standard written: 4000 words or equivalent
Special Assessment Requirements None
Indicative Resources The current reading list can be found in the Module Guide, which your lecturer should make available via Moodle.

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