Postgraduate Course: Extreme and Fragile Ecosystems (BIME11014)
|School||Deanery of Biomedical Sciences
||College||College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
||Availability||Not available to visiting students
|Summary||This course introduces the concept of extreme and fragile ecosystems including high altitude, polar regions, marine (e.g. coral reefs) and 'polluted' environments. It will look at how ecosystems adapt to survival in hostile conditions and explore the ways in which human activity creates or influences these. The practicalities and logistics of management plans relating to these environments will be discussed.
A central concept in this course is that of resilience and the degree to which ecosystems are able to withstand disturbance and to return to a stable state. The course explores the notion that environments themselves may indeed be extreme but that the ecosystems that have developed in such environments while not necessarily stable in the short term, do exhibit long term resilience. These principles are then carried through to the species level where evidence for resilience in the interactions between species is also discussed.
The course develops a central theme of resilience by investigating the conventional ecosystem terminology in the literature. Extreme or potentially hostile environments are considered in the context of the underlying stability of broader ecosystems.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Course Delivery Information
|Not being delivered|
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Have an understanding of the history of technical systems applications in ecosystems thinking;
- Understand ecosystem fragility and stability in an evolutionary context
- Discuss critically the notion of extreme systems and extreme or hostile environments
|Nilsson C, and Grelsson G, (1995). The Fragility of Ecosystems: A Review, Journal of Applied Ecology, Vol. 32, No. 4 (Nov., 1995), pp. 677-692.|
Bretsky P, Bretsky S, Levinton J, Lorenz DM: (1973). Fragile Ecosystems, Science, New Series, Vol. 179, No. 4078 (Mar. 16, 1973), p. 1147.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||Students will develop critical thinking skills and the confidence to contest current thinking and broader paradigms.
|Course organiser||Mr Robert Thomas
Tel: (0131 6)50 3508
|Course secretary||Mr Lyndon Zahra
Tel: (0131) 651 5232