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Community Ecology and Ecosystems



Course format On-site
Date 2020-08-17 - 2020-12-20

The course introduces community ecological theory and analysis methods and ecosystem processes and services. Central themes are patterns in species richness and biodiversity, methods to describe patterns on community level, ecosystem functions, predation and other interspecific interactions, disturbance effects, succession, and food webs. The links between community and ecosystem processes and services will be described with theory and examples. The course gives a background for conservation biology with examples on management in different landscapes and ecosystems. The students work in groups and during a field course they gather data, during exercises they process their data with different mathematical methods and discuss central themes in community ecology.

Learning outcomes


After completing the course the students should:

  • Have knowledge about different drivers for community composition.
  • Know the basic theories about mechanisms important to species distribution and abundance
  • Have a general understanding if the links between community composition and ecosystem functions.
  • Be able to understand and interpret methods used to describe patterns in occurrence and distribution of species in natural communities.


The student can:

  • Apply different diversity indices
  • Understand patterns based on uni- and multivariate analyses
  • Explain central theories and discuss important ecological mechanisms that influence ecosystems and community ecological patterns in nature.

General competence:

The student can:

  • To some extent plan, carry out, analyse and report a scientific project


ISCED Categories