|Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Glenda Wardle, Dr Murray Henwood.|
Classes: (2 hrs lec & 3 hrs prac)/wk, audiovisual.
Assessment: One 2-hr exam (40%), laboratory reports (20%) herbarium (20%), one 2-hr practical exam (20%).
Textbooks: A Laboratory Manual for the unit will be available for purchase from the Copy Centre during the first week of Semester.
|This unit provides a broad understanding of the evolution, classification and diversity of terrestrial plants, and the principles of plant ecology in an Australian context. The major types of Australian vegetation are discussed across a range of temporal and spatial scales, and their current distribution related to their environment and origins. Selected contemporary issues in plant conservation from Australian natural and managed systems are explored. There is a strong emphasis on practical skills such as phylogenetic inference, plant identification and the collection and analysis of ecological data. The practical component of the unit of study uses examples taken from the Australian flora (including plants of horticultural significance) and major crop plants. Important elements of this unit are half-day field trips to the Royal National Park, and the construction of student herbaria. The practical sessions and interactions with staff encourage students to develop their own learning style and enhance a strong sense of self-reliance. Critical thinking, effective communication and other vocational and generic skills are emphasized. The content is well suited to students with interests in botany, plant science and ecology, and is often combined with units of study offered through the School of Biological Sciences and the Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. This unit of study also complements a wide range of units of study from: science (e.g. plant science, earth and environmental science, animal science, bioinformatics, molecular and cell biology, genetics and biotechnology); agriculture (e.g. horticulture, land and water science, and natural resources); and broader disciplines (e.g. education, arts, and environmental law).|