Accessibility statement

Environmental Ecology - BIO00005I

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  • Department: Biology
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Kelly Redeker
  • Credit value: 10 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2017-18

Related modules

Pre-requisite modules

Co-requisite modules

  • None

Prohibited combinations

  • None

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Spring Term 2017-18 to Summer Term 2017-18

Module aims

A study of key contemporary environmental issues, largely focussing on global environmental change (GEC). The module will introduce the general subject of GEC, including both natural historical changes in the environment and changes resulting from human activity with particular emphasis on the energy budget of planet Earth. A wide array of other
environmental issues are also considered, including impacts of excess nitrogen and acid deposition in Europe and developing countries, persistent organic pollutants (POPS) and anthropogenic changes in the global carbon, sulphur and nitrogen cycles. Consideration will be given to the development of the ecosystem approach, leading to the concepts of ecosystem services . The consequences of GEC for individual ecosystems and the biosphere will be highlighted with particular emphasis placed on the impacts of GEC (e.g. rising temperatures and atmospheric concentrations of CO2 etc) on UK forested and peatland
ecosystems, with consideration to the roles of plants and soils in response and feedback to GEC. Some time will be spent exploring geoengineering solutions and their ramifications.

Module learning outcomes

At the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Describe and evaluate the relative effects of natural processes on specific regional climates.
  • Characterize the changes humans have made to the global environment relative to natural cycles.
  • Identify and describe the implications of global climate change on the behaviour of several UK specific ecosystems.
  • Use and understand isotopic data in researching global processes and cycles.
  • Understand and be able to apply the concept of ecosystems as providers of a wide range of ecosystem services and estimate the relative importance of biodiversity in delivering these services.
  • Be able to describe the relative role soils and plants play in delivering ecosystem services and the feedbacks that they have on human-driven climate change.
  • Be able to model a component of a complex system.


Task Length % of module mark
University - closed examination
Environmental Ecology
1.5 hours 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
University - closed examination
Environmental Ecology
1.5 hours 100

Module feedback

Feedback on your progress is important to your learning process and we return all first and second year work to you after marking for feedback purposes via Biology Student Services in week 9 or 10 of the spring and summer terms. You will be notified by e-mail when your work is ready for collection.

Module marks are made available to both you and your supervisor via your eVision account as soon as the marks are available, by week 6 of the spring term and week 8 of the summer term. You are expected to discuss your performance and progress with your supervisor in your mid-spring term and end of summer term supervisory meetings.

A histogram of all module marks is produced and posted on the examinations notice board outside Biology Student Services.

Specimen answers are posted on the web: by comparing the specimen answers with your own, you should obtain a clear idea of what was expected of you. For each module the markers will also give general feedback on how well the questions were answered and point out any standard errors that students may have made.

Indicative reading

These are available in EARL which is accessible through the VLE module site.

Recommended but not required: Fundamentals of Ecosystem Science, Weathers, Stoyer &
Likens, Associated Press, 2013.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.