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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Biological Sciences : Postgraduate

Postgraduate Course: Biodiversity of Angiosperms (PGBI11044)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Biological Sciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe Biodiversity of Angiosperms course explores the major features of Angiosperm families to enable the understanding of their phylogenetic relationships and evolution as well as their identification. The course relies heavily on the understanding of floral structures (through floral diagrams and floral formulae) and the identification of plants to family level using key characters. The evolution of angiosperms is reflected in the study of their floral diversity. The study of angiosperm diversity involves the sampling and observation of diverse living floral material grown at RBGE.
Course description The purpose of the course is to explain the origin, evolution and special features of the angiosperms to enable the understanding of the relationships of major groups of plants. The lectures are provided in the context of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (APG IV, Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 181: 1-20, 2016) and give a broad outline of the major clades and the evolution of key characters. The major lineages of Angiosperms are presented with emphasis on major events of evolution and diversification. Further to this, the evolution of the angiosperms is approached from a floral structural perspective. Morphological characters linked to the flower are analysed and linked with the evolutionary developmental genetics underlying floral development. Other elements affecting floral evolution, such as pollination ecology, are presented. Throughout, full use is made of the excellent collections of living plants at RBGE. Teaching is lecture based, with emphasis on floral morphology and a general discussion of the angiosperm phylogeny in the first term, while the second term is devoted to the observation and analysis of flowers and their characters during weekly practical sessions including guided walks among the RBGE collections. The practicals give the opportunity to extend on key characters based on further sampling and observation of living floral material grown at RBGE. The availability of living study material involves the study of plants as an entity and students are encouraged to explore these living resource, and record their observations by drawing half-flowers including floral diagrams and floral formulae, as an effective way to become acquainted with the diversity of angiosperm families. After completing this course in combination with the fieldtrip, you should be able to identify major plant groups by sight, mostly to family level.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs none
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Full Year
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 60, Fieldwork Hours 8, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 128 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 50 %, Practical Exam 50 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Assessment is through a specific essay at the end of semester 1 (50%), and a two hour practical examination using live material at the end of semester 2 (50%).
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand the flower structures of major angiosperm taxa.
  2. Identify the major angiosperm families based on floral and vegetative characters.
  3. Understand flowering plant diversity and evolution.
  4. Know flowering plant breeding systems and their evolution.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Course organiserProf Andrew Hudson
Tel: (0131 6)50 3383
Course secretaryMiss Fionnuala Nidhonnabhain
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