BOT331 – LANDSCAPE ECOLOGY AND PEOPLE

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BOT331 – LANDSCAPE ECOLOGY AND PEOPLE
COURSE OUTLINE
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Patterns of biodiversity globally and nationally
Landscape systems of South Africa and majors drivers of vegetation structure, function and floristics
Field based methods for collecting floristic and structural/function vegetation data for classification and ordination
Geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing techniques – the power of modern technology
Environmental legislation, integrated environmental management (IEM), and integrated catchment management
(ICM)
An introduction to resource economics
Ecotourism, an industry for the future?
Community based resource management (CBRM) – is there a place for public participation?
“Green” politics – is there a role for a South African Green Party?
MAIN OUTCOMES
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Students will be able to prepare an environmental impact assessment/report that is based on sound ecological principles
Students will have a fundamental appreciation of the role of:
 the “authority”
 ecologists
 stakeholders and
 clients
- in relation to decision making regarding ecological/environmental development issues
Students will be aware of the peer reviewed literature and will be able to read, analysis and present reviews
Students will be able to debate relevant topics related to the conservation of biodiversity
Students will have participated in a workshop where all views are canvassed and consensus is reached
COURSE STRUCTURE
PRACTICAL SKILLS
1.
How to collect from the field basic structural/functional and floristic data
2.
An introduction to Raunkiaer’s Life Form classification and Dansereau’s Symbolic Representation, and how these
classic methods can be modified for contemporary use
3.
Will be exposed to a brief overview of vegetation sampling methods to collect frequency, density and coverabundance plot/quadrat data for floristic and structural/functional vegetation analysis
4.
Be aware of the concept of homogeneity/heterogeneity, and species area determination for the selection of
optimum sample size for field data collection
LECTURES
Week 1
Weeks 2 & 3
Week 4
Week 5
Weeks 6 & 7
Analysis of patterns of biodiversity globally and nationally. What is a Hot Spot, and what are some useful
concepts for measuring biodiversity (alpha – α, beta – β, gamma – γ, and delta – δ values for
biodiversity).
Introduction to South African landscape systems at the biome and the major vegetation/floristic level.
With special attention to the Cape Floristic Region (CRF) where the major environmental drivers that
determine the floristics, and structural/function similarities and differences will be emphasised
Remote Sensing Techniques and the concept of GIS – from aerial photographs to multi-spectral
scanning techniques. Monitoring and evaluation techniques, environmental policies and resource
economics
Preparation of your Management Plan (you must select an area and this must be discussed with me
BEFORE you can proceed), and preparing for the debate on “Green Politics”
Ecotourism, CBRM, public participation and “Green Politics’ debate
FIELD WORK SESSIONS
1
2
3&4
5
6
7
8
9 & 10
11 to 14
An overview of structural/functional attributes of the major plant communities in the Cape Flats Nature
Reserve (CFNR)
Methods for estimating cover/abundance data - from theory to practice
Vegetation sampling techniques – frequency, density, and cover-abundance measures
Determination of optimal sample size.
Collection of Mountain Fynbos, Renosterveld and Little Karoo data (weekend of 24/25 September)
Collection of Thicket and Forest data
Data analysis – Ordination and Classification
Write-up of practical notes
Extra time for preparation of your small reserve Management Plan
ASSESSMENT
1. Practicals
1.1
A brief and critical review of each of the first five field work sessions will be handed in on the Wednesday
and Monday following the Monday and Thursday field work sessions respectively (these reviews to be a
concise, critical appraisal of the session, that MUST be referenced to the primary literature, and these
appraisals to follow the guidelines for presentation of papers in the South African Journal of Botany)
1.2
Following the ordination and classification practicals a critical review of the methodology and results will be
handed in on Monday 17th October at 11h00
2. Management Plan
This will be finalised and handed in by 10h00 on 25th October
3. Tests
3.1
The first test will cover the work done in Weeks 1 and 2 and will be written in the first hour of the practical
session on 29th September
3.2
The second and last test will be written on the 17th October at 14h00, and will cover the work done in
Weeks 3 and 4
MARKS
The brief review of field sessions 1-5 will each be worth 2% of the final mark (Total 10%)
The review of ordination/classification is for 10%
Each test will be for 10% (Total 20%)
Each student will review a Journal article (2%)
Participation in the course will be progressively assessed and be worth 3%
The Debate will be assessed and count for 5%
The Management Plan is part of the Final Assessment (which means the Management Plans will go to the
external examiner) and is for 20%
The Final Exam will be for 30%
TOTAL 100%
Course co-ordinator Eugene Moll, Botany Room#43, phone # 9593783, email [email protected]
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