The main emphasis: Introduction to the basics of ecology, concepts, approaches and applications, with a focus on the utilization of natural resources.
Lectures: The history and discipline of ecology. Population ecology; principles of population growth, effects of density and population regulation. Species interactions: competition, predation and other interaction forms. The structure and diversity of biological communities, succession, food webs, stability, biodiversity. Ecosystems: nutrient and energy cycles and trophic efficiency. Introduction to Icelandic ecosystems.
Practical exercises: Introduction to selected Icelandic ecological communities.
Student seminars and essays: The application of ecological knowledge in utilization and management of resources.
Course evaluation: Written reports and seminars account for 50% and examination at the end of term 50% of the final grade.
Knowledge and understanding
- The student has basic knowledge of ecology and its role in environment and natural resource studies.The student understands the main factors that determine growth and distribution of plant and animal populations and the interactions of these factors.
- The student understands the structure and characteristics of aquatic and terrestrial communities and ecosystems, their services and the influence of man on such systems.
- The student has knowledge of the scientific and technical methods applied in ecology.
- The student understands numbers in ecology and ecological information related to sustainable harvest and nature conservation.
- The student has knowledge and understanding of the most important theories, concepts and methods in ecology.
Communication skills and information literacy
- The student can summarize and interpret ecological data obtained in practical exercises and communicate the findings in a written report.
- The student can critically review and discuss text on ecological subjects in seminars.