Tentative Lecture and Lab Schedule1

Date

Lecture Topic

Reading2

Lab

Unit I:  Sex

Sept 9

The apical meristem is connected to the .. shin bone? OR  Umm...I don't think this is genetics.  A brief refresher in botany, natural selection, ecology, and an introduction to plant ecology.

1-12; 143-147; 87-90

NO LAB THIS WEEK

Sept 14

How to have sex:  A botanical primer (Caution:  this lecture will contain graphic images).  Mating systems, the cost of being male, and incest.

147-161

Lab Exercise I:  Impacts of habitat on non-vascular plant distributions in the river valley

Sept 16

Playing (in) the field.  Costs and benefits of different ways of moving your pollen.

147-161

Sept 21

Blowin' in the wind and Tangled up in blue (fur).  Mechanisms and consequences of seed dispersal.

161-165

Lab Exercise II:  Effects of inbreeding on fitness.  Initial pollination.

Lab Exercise III:  Herbivory.  Group formation, discussion, and pitching ideas.

Sept 24

Please keep your genes to yourself.  Impacts of gene flow and local selection on plant evolution.

 

101-115

Sept 28

Greens VS Monsanto.  A discussion of the ecological risks of genetically modified plants.  The information that doesn't make the front pages.

TBA

Tutorial:  Experimental design and analysis.  Read text pages 465-468.

Lab Exercise III:  Continue herbivory planning.

Unit II:  Function

Sept 30

I grow, therefore I am.  Phenotypic plasticity and the nature of plant behaviour.

90-100; 106-108

 

Oct 5

Feed me.  Limiting resources and plant foraging strategies

15-23; 35-40

Lab Exercise IV:  Set up competition experiment.

Tutorial:  Ordination methods in plant community ecology (Read text pages 319-332)

Research Proposals due

Oct 7

Playing dirty.  Mechanisms of competition for soil resources

188-191; 197-199

Oct 12

I see the light.  Mechanisms of competition for light, and the concept of competitive size-asymmetry

186-188; 192-197

Lab Exercise II:  Inbreeding: Seed collection and plant measures

Lab Exercise III: Herbivory experiment final adjustments and improvements.

Oct 14

The big mess.  What we (don't) know about relationships between resource, competition, and diversity.

202-211

Oct 19

Gassy plants.  Ecological costs and benefits of different methods of getting CO2.

23-34

Lab Exercise III:  Set up herbivory experiment

Lab Exercise IV:  Competition measures

Ordination Paper Due

Oct 21

The sum of the parts.  Plant life history strategies and functional groups

167-184

Oct 26

MIDTERM EXAM (20%)

 

Lab Exercise III:  Set up herbivory experiment cont’d.

Unit III: Enemies

Oct 28

You like-a the juice?  Why plants are bad food

213-218; 223-227

 

Nov 2

An evolutionary arms race.  Co-evolution, host race specificity, and plant-insect feedbacks

223-227

Lab Exercise II:  Inbreeding:  Final data collection

Lab Exercise IV:  Competition experiment measures.

Nov 4

The truth is out there!  Talking trees, induced defenses, and plant-insect communication

227-228

Nov 9

A fungus among us.  Mutualisms vs pathogens vs herbivore defense.  Some ecological consequences of fungal infection.

74-84; 231-234

Lab Exercise III: Herbivory upkeep.

 

Nov 11

Fall Break - NO CLASS

 

 

Nov 16

Interactions.  Non-additive interactions between competition, herbivory, and fungal infection

NO LAB THIS WEEK

Unit IV: Change

Nov 18

Are communities real?  Defining and describing assemblages of species

235-252

 

Nov 23

We don't all bounce back.  Disturbances and multiple stable states

253-256; 273

Lab Exercise IV:  Competition final measures

Inbreeding report due

Nov 25

Out damn spot(ted knapweed)!   Invasive species and how plant communities may (or may not) keep them out.

275-277; 281-284

Nov 30

CO2 as a limiting resource.  Increased carbon dioxide concentrations and plant growth

437-454

Statistics and presentation workshop.

 

Dec 2

A global hot flash,  Impacts of increased temperature on resource availability and plant-microbial interactions

TBA

Dec 7

Carbon and climate change II.  What do plants do to the atmosphere?

437-454

ORAL PRESENTATIONS

 

FINAL EXAM (39%)

 

 

 

1 Lecture and lab topics will change throughout the term.  In case of a discrepancy between what is listed here an what I say in class - the information given in class will be viewed as correct.

2All page numbers refer to:  Gurevitch, Scheiner, and Fox.  2002.  The Ecology of Plants.  Sinauer Associates, Sunderland, MA.  The text is available for purchase at the UA Bookstore.  Additional readings from the primary literature will be assigned throughout the term.