General Ecology 1400-112EKOO
1. What is ecology? – the ambiguity of this term. The science of ecology. Application of the scientific methods to ecology – deduction, induction. Basic ecological terms (environment, habitat, limiting factor, population, ecosystem). Methods of approach to ecology. A brief history of ecology.
2. Ecology and the science of evolution. Variability and natural selection. Ecological consequences of diversified reproductiveness and survival. Fitness, adaptations.
3. Life strategies and the evolution of their most important parameters. Conflicts, compromises and evolutionary dilemmas. Levins’ principle of allocation. The optimization theory. Behavioural ecology , mating strategies, sex.
4. Interactions between organisms and the environment, ecological tolerance. Physiological and ecological amplitudes. Liebig’s law of the minimum, Shelford’s law of tolerance. Ecotypes.
5. Basic population ecology. The population as a unit of study. Population structure and organization. Natality, mortality, demographic techniques. Intraspecific competition and its effects.
6. Population density and density-dependent processes. Models of population growth. The analysis of population dynamics – fluctuations, cyclicity, chaos. Regulation of population size.
7. Isolated populations, metapopulation theory. Diffuse populations. Theory of habitat selection – the ideal free distribution concept. Migration and its effects.
8. Principles of population genetics. The Hardy-Weinberg low and its assumptions. Population gene pool and its variability. Effective population size, isolation, genetic drift, inbreeding. Bottleneck effect, founder’s effect.
9. The theory of island biogeography. The theory of ecological landscape. Spatial heterogeneity of habitats, size and isolation of habitat patches, edge effects, ecological barriers and corridors.
10. Ecology of species interactions. Interspecific competition – models of competition, apparent competition and indirect effects, character displacement. The concept of metacommunity. Predation, other kinds of species interactions.
11. Ecosystem theory. Ecosystem productivity, energy flow, trophic levels, trophic efficiency. Ecosystem regulation; top-down and bottom-up. HSS model of community. Biomanipulation. Ecological succession.
12. Spatial and temporal variability of factors shaping life conditions on Earth. Productivity of ecosystems, primary and secondary productivity.
13. Biosphere diversity. Species diversity measures. Recent biodiversity on Earth and its changeability in time and space. Recent threats over biodiversity.
14. Basic human ecology. Increase of human population and its consequences. The place of human being in natural anthropogenic food chains. Food production and its ecological limitations, the problem of feeding of human population. Energetic subsidizing of food production.
15. Perspectives and tendencies of ecology development in Poland and in the world; the role of ecology in solving recent environmental problems – discussion with students.
Type of course
1. Student knows basic concepts in ecology.
2. Students acknowledges the importance of experimental approach in science
3. Students knows global problems concerning the environment.
1. Student can analyse threats to the environment and biological diveristy
Written exam(60% to pass)
1. Begon, M., Mortimer, M., Thompson D.J. 1999. Ekologia populacji. Studium porównawcze zwierząt i roślin. PWN, Warszawa.
2. Falińska, K. 1996. Ekologia roślin. Podstawy teoretyczne, populacje, zbiorowiska, procesy. PWN, Warszawa,
3. Krebs, Ch. J., 2011. Ekologia. Eksperymentalna analiza rozmieszczenia i liczebności. PWN, Warszawa.
4. Krzanowska, H., Łomnicki, A., Rabiński J., Szarski H., Szymura J.M., 1997. Zarys mechanizmów ewolucji. PWN, Warszawa.
5. Mackenzie A., Ball A.S., Virdee S.R. 2007. Krótkie wykłady. Ekologia. PWN, Warszawa.
6. Weiner, J. 2006. Życie i ewolucja biosfery, PWN, Warszawa.
1. Begon M., Townsend C.R., Harper J. L. 2006. Ecology. From individuals to ecosystems. Wyd. IV, Blackwell Publishing.
2. Colinvaux P., 1993 Ecology 2. Wiley, John & Sons.
3. Stearns S.C., Hoekstra R.F., 2000. Evolution: an introduction. Oxford Univ. Press, Oxford.
Information on level of this course, year of study and semester when the course unit is delivered, types and amount of class hours - can be found in course structure diagrams of apropriate study programmes. This course is related to the following study programmes:
Additional information (registration calendar, class conductors, localization and schedules of classes), might be available in the USOSweb system: