Terrestrial Ecosystem Processes and Global Change

Course content

The aim of the course is to provide the participants with a comprehensive understanding of processes in terrestrial ecosystems, and effects of global change on processes and organisms. The focus is on carbon, water and nutrient cycling between plants, soil organisms, soil, and atmosphere. This includes lessons in radiation and energy balance, photosynthesis, respiration, water use efficiency and measures of stress, at leaf, plant and canopy level. Belowground processes as plant nutrient uptake and microbial turnover, mobilization and immobilization of nutrients, plant-microbe-animal interactions, rhizosphere processes and mycorrhizal function are also addressed, with focus on the importance of climate and anthropogenically induced climatic changes. Field and laboratory studies are performed and the results are presented orally and in reports. It is mandatory for the participants to present one or two journal papers with relation to the subjects taught in the lectures, and effects of global change in particular.

Education

MSc Programme in Biology
MSc Programme in Agriculture

MSc Programme in Biology with a minor subject

Learning outcome

Knowledge:

The aim of the course is to provide the participants with a comprehensive understanding of processes in terrestrial ecosystems, and effects of global change on processes and organisms. The focus is on carbon, water and nutrient cycling between plants, soil organisms, soil, and atmosphere. This includes lessons in radiation and energy balance, photosynthesis, respiration, water use efficiency and measures of stress, at leaf, plant and canopy level. Belowground processes as plant nutrient uptake and microbial turnover, mobilization and immobilization of nutrients, plant-microbe-animal interactions, rhizosphere processes and mycorrhizal function are also addressed, with focus on the importance of climate and anthropogenically induced climatic changes.

Skills:

The participants will obtain insight into the cycling of carbon, water and nutrient cycling between plants, soil, soil organisms and atmosphere, and to dissiminate this knowledge to fellow students and non-specialists. This includes experience in relevant methods for data acquisition. Field and laboratory work is performed and the data are presented in a report which includes statistical analysis of data and discussion of results. It is mandatory for the participants to present one or two journal papers with relation to the subjects taught in the lectures.

Competences:

The student will achieve in-depth knowledge of carbon, water and nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems and on potential effects of environmental changes on key ecosystem processes. The student will obtain the necessary theoretical insight to be able to understand and comment critically on issues such as effects of climatic change, nitrogen deposition and changed land use on ecosystem function and feedback processes to the environment.

Lectures, seminars and exercises.

See Absalon.

ECTS
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written examination, 2 hours under invigilation
Oral examination, 30 minutes, no preparation time
The written and the oral examination are graded jointly.
Aid
All aids allowed

NB: If the exam is held at the ITX, the ITX will provide computers. Private computers, tablets or mobile phones CANNOT be brought along to the exam. Books and notes should be brought on paper or saved on a USB key.

Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiners
Criteria for exam assessment

In order to obtain the grade 12 the student should convincingly and accurately demonstrate the knowledge, skills and competences described under Learning Outcome.

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Exam
  • 3
  • Excursions
  • 8
  • Preparation
  • 131
  • Lectures
  • 24
  • Colloquia
  • 14
  • Practical exercises
  • 10
  • Project work
  • 15
  • Theory exercises
  • 1
  • English
  • 206