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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Ecological Science

Undergraduate Course: Plant Physiological Ecology (ECSC10039)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course introduces the science of Physiological Plant Ecology with a strong focus on plant water relations and how recent climate change is affecting these. Plant Physiological Ecology teaches how plants function, grow and survive in their ecosystems and understanding Physiological Plant Ecology underpins food security, ecosystem restoration and the understanding of water as a resource. The course is set to inspire students to learn and think about how terrestrial ecosystems work and function, and what challenges they will be facing in the future.
Course description The course brings the underlying theory of plant functioning together with practical hand-on learning in the laboratory. A three hours' practical, which will take place every week is accompanied with alternating weekly 1.5-hour lectures and group tutorials.

Background Theory

To cover theoretical background knowledge, 1.5-hour lectures will be held every second week during the semester. In the weeks between the lectures there will be a tutorial discussing recent research relevant to the topic covered in the lecture.

Practical experience

A three-hour practical will take place each week. The practical sessions will consist of a one-hour introduction to the topic and 2 hours practical work in the laboratory. In week 1, the course will make an additional external visit to the SBS plant growth facilities.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  30
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 196 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 30 %, Coursework 70 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Assessment details
Written Exam 30 %, Coursework 70 %

Assessment deadlines
A component of the coursework assessment are hand-ins of drawings that the students produce during the practical sessions. Those will be collected directly after the practical, marked during the week and handed back to the students in the following week. In the list of assessments below, these submissions are called direct hand-ins. Another component are lab reports, these are to be submitted electronically one week after the lab session took place.

Direct hand-ins occur in weeks: 1(formative), 3, 5, 6, 7, 10 (Dates: 19th September, 3rd, 17th, 24th and 31 October, 21st November)

Lab reports are to be submitted on Mondays (noon) in weeks: 3(formative), 5, 8, 9 (submission boxes needed on Learn, Dates: 3rd and 17th October, 14th and 21st November)
Feedback Staff to student feedback:
Each lecture is accompanied by a tutorial in the following week. This tutorial will provide opportunity for 1:1 verbal interaction and feedback on performance and the development of critical thinking skills.
Individual detailed written feedback will be provided during the practical every week. The first two coursework submissions (week 1 and 2) will be used to give formative feedback
An exam revision session will be organised

Student to staff feedback:
To encourage bottom-up feedback there will be a mid-course feedback session. This will be a discussion forum accompanied with a feedback from that the students can fill out anonymously
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate and work with knowledge that covers and integrates most of the principal areas of Plant Physiological Ecology and they will have a critical understanding of the principle theories and concepts that explain plant functioning
  2. Apply skills and understanding in executing a defined investigation and be able to identify and implement the relevant outcomes
  3. Demonstrate some originality and creativity in dealing with manipulative experiments in Plant Physiological Ecology
  4. Use a wide range of routine skills in Plant Physiological Ecology and know how to present their findings to an informed audience
  5. Manage complex practical tasks in accordance with the current practical code of conduct
Reading List
Plant Ecology. Authors: Schulze, E.-D., Beck, E., Buchmann, N., Clemens, S., Müller-Hohenstein, K., Scherer-Lorenzen, M. Springer. ISBN 978-3-662-56231-4. Chapters: Physiological and biophysical plant ecology (ecophysiology of plants: thermal balance, water, nutrient, carbon relations)

Physiological Plant Ecology; Ecophysiology and Stress Physiology of Functional Groups. Author: Larcher, W. Springer: ISBN 978-3-540-43516-7-

Plants and Microclimate; A Quantitative Approach to Environmental Plant Physiology. Author: Jones, H.G.. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-511-84572-7

Plant Physiological Ecology; Authors: Lambers, H. , Oliveira, R.S., Springer: ISBN: 978-3030296384

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Keywordsplants,trees,growth,anatomy,drought stress,biomass allocation,climate change,plant function
Course organiserDr Claudia Colesie
Tel: (0131 6)50 5434
Course secretaryMiss Francesca Nadal Finnegan
Tel: (0131 6)50 4842
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