BOT 332 - PLANT ECOLOGY
FALL 2004
 

Arabis-Puccinia:  A sexually transmitted diseaseNorthern AlbertaBrown-Eyed Susan

Geum triflorumRough Fescue GrasslandLeaf herbivory on Apocynum cannibinum


Lecturer JC Cahill Office 
Telephone 
e-mail 
Office Hours 
B710 Bio Sci
492-3792
jc.cahill at ualberta.ca
By appointment
Course Coordinator Gerald Hilchie Office 
Telephone 
e-mail  
1-42 Earth Science Bldg
492-3702
Gerald.Hilchie at ualberta.ca
Teaching Assistant Mike Simpson Office 
Telephone 
e-mail 
Office Hours 
B719 Bio Sci
492-1577
mjs14 at ualberta.ca
TBA

Teaching Assistant Steve Kembel Office 
Telephone 
e-mail 
Office Hours

B715

492-1577

steve.kembel at ualberta.ca
TBA

Course Schedule


Lectures Tuesday & Thursday 12:30-13:50 Bio Sci Bldg M149
Lab Tuesday/Wednesday 14:00 - 16:50 Bio Sci Bldg CW303/311

Course Description and Objectives

From the Calendar:  "Study of the local factors which limit plant growth, reproduction, and diversity. Particular emphasis on the mechanisms by which plants interact with their local environment and the effects of these interactions on diversity and community functioning. Specific topics include plant foraging, germination ecology, mechanisms of competition and facilitation, patterns of diversity, and community stability. Prerequisites: BIOL 208, STAT 151, and any university MATH course."

The overall objective of this course is to present a broad array of topics in plant ecology, leading students to the realization that plants are not simply habitat or resources, but are instead adaptive, responsive, and interesting organisms.  Students will draw upon their knowledge from previous ecology course(s) (e.g. BIOL 208), applying basic ecological principles specifically to the study of plants.  The emphasis of the course will be on individual-based ecology, as population biology (BIOL 331) and community ecology are both covered in other courses.  The lab includes a significant statistical component, and thus the STAT and MATH prerequisites are important.  You will be at a significant disadvantage in this course if you have not successfully completed all of the prerequisite courses.

Evaluations 

 

   Assignment

Due Date

Value

Ordination Report

Oct 19/20

6%

Midterm Exam

Oct 26

20 %

Inbreeding Report

Nov 23/24

13%

Herbivory Research Proposal

Oct 5/6

5%

Herbivory Effort

----

5%

General Effort and Participation

----

5%

Herbivory Oral Presentation

Dec 7/8

7%

Final Exam (cumulative) 

2pm SATURDAY Dec 18th (tentative)

39 %

Final distributions of grades are based neither on strict, absolute numerical scale (e.g., > 90% of total marks for a 4) nor on a strict "curve" (e.g., the top x% of students get a 4); rather, a combination of the two is used that considers historical averages for 300-level courses, natural breaks in the distribution of scores, comparisons to prior Bot 332 classes, etc.

Course Readings

Required TextGurevitch, Scheiner, and Fox.  2002.  The Ecology of Plants.  Sinauer Associates, Sunderland , MA .  The text is available for purchase at the UA Bookstore.  Several copies will also be placed on reserve in the Cameron library.

Required Lab manual:  The lab manual is available for purchase in the bookstore.

Course Policies

  Policy
Code of Student Behaviour It is expected that students will adhere to all aspects of the code of student behaviour.  Students believed to have performed an inappropriate academic behaviour, misrepresentation of facts, or participation in an offense will be dealt with swiftly, with as strong a sanction as possible recommended to the Dean.  I have no tolerance for cheating, plagiarism, or covering-up for fellow students.
Midterm Exam This exam will cover all lecture and reading material from the beginning of term up to an including that presented on October 21.  MAKEUP EXAMS WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE FOR ANY REASON.  A student with an approved absence will have the weight of the midterm exam added to the weight of the final exam.  A student with an unapproved absence will receive a zero for the midterm exam.
Final Exam The final exam is cumulative and will require synthesis of topics presented throughout the term.  Since the final exam is worth less than 40% of the final grade, applications for re-examinations can not be considered.
Deferred Exams (for the final only)

The student must obtain documentation from University Health Services OR Records Division, Examinations and Timetabling (sworn affidavit) and this documentation must be submitted to the student’s own faculty office within TWO working days of the missed exam.  The deferred application will be approved or denied by the student’s faculty.  If the application is approved, the student will be automatically billed a processing fee.  Once the student has completed the above process and has received approval to write the deferred exam, he/she can contact the instructor or Department office to receive further instructions.

The deferred exam for BOT 332 will be held on Monday January 17th at 9am .  This is the ONLY date and time for the deferred BOT 332 final.  If you are writing the deferred exam, contact the instructor at least 48 hours prior to the exam to confirm date, time, and location in case there are any changes.
Lab Reports All assignments are to be handed in by 2 pm on the due date.  There is a penalty for all late assignments of 25% for every 24 hours (or part thereof) that it is late (a “perfect” paper received 4 days late would receive a zero).  Assignments are considered handed in when they are physically received by the TA, not when slipped under a door.  Details about lab writing format will be provided by the TAs in the labs.
Lab Attendance It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that all lab exercises are completed efficiently, accurately, and on time.  Concepts presented in lecture will be discussed in lab, and vice versa, and they may appear on the lecture exams.  Students will need to attend to ongoing experiments outside of the scheduled lab hours (to water, take data, etc.).  A portion of the course grade is allocated to participation and effort in the labs.
Readings As this course is not "taught from the book" the text should be used as a supplement to lecture, rather than a replacement.  A good text will help clarify difficult concepts, and will help place certain ideas into a broader context. Information provided in the readings is fair game for the exams.

TENTATIVE LECTURE SCHEDULE 

(The exact topics presented on any particular date will change during the year, due both to my inability to adhere to a schedule, and to the fact that we will be using living organisms in the labs.  For some reason, they too seem unable to adhere to my schedule).

EXAMS FROM 2001

LAB SCHEDULE
ORDINATION ASSIGNMENT
COMPETITION ASSIGNMENT
HERBIVORY PHOTOS
STATS WORKSHOP DATA
GIVING A CONFERENCE-STYLE PRESENTATION (PowerPoint)
HOW-TO GUIDE TO POWERPOINT BASICS (PowerPoint)

A picture of some moss, because they are plants, too!.

Funaria hygrometrica


Last Updated 15-Nov-2004 by SWK
© Copyright 2002 James F. Cahill, Jr.  All rights reserved.