Course: Plant and Animal Ecology

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Course title Plant and Animal Ecology
Course code KBI/P605
Organizational form of instruction Lesson
Level of course Bachelor
Year of study not specified
Semester Winter and summer
Number of ECTS credits 3
Language of instruction Czech
Status of course unspecified
Form of instruction unspecified
Work placements unspecified
Recommended optional programme components None
  • Kubát Karel, doc. RNDr. CSc.
  • Jozífková Eva, doc. RNDr. Ph.D.
Course content
1. Solar radiation and radiation bilance of plants, temperature and temperature bilance of plants, periodicity of solar radiation and climate. 2. Atmosphere, supply of gases (CO2) in terrestrial and aquatic habitats. Water and aquatic environment for plants, water supply and water bilance of plants. Soil, physical and chemical characteristics, decomposition of organic matter, turnover of nutrients. 3. Ecology of photosynthesis, C3-, C4-, and CAM-fixation of carbon, nutrition of plants, growth on "extreme" soils. Primary production of plants, growth and allocation. 4. Trophic interactions of plants, symbiosis with diazotrophic microorganismc, mykorhiza, parazitisms, carnivory. Nontrophic interactions of plants, allelopathy, defense against hebivory. Life cycle of plants. 5. Animals vs. plants, fungi and unicells: what is the animal, cetralization as a major organizational principle. Body size as the most important feature determining life-history and ecology of species, advantages and disadvantages of different body sizes in animals. 6. Metabolism and its ecological consequences: body size - metabolic allometry, energy consumption and its correlates, role of temperature. Advantages and constraints of poikilothermy and homeothermy. Individual growth, its constraints and determinants. 7. Major dimensions of ecological variability in animals: basic body plans and consequent constraints, adaptive zones of some of the most diverse taxa: crustaceans, insects, fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. 8. Life-history strategies and their evolution: morphological, physiological and ecological constraints on the size of eggs/embryos and consequent reproductive trade-offs, slow-fast continuum, relationship between body size, mortality and the distribution of lifetime reproductive investments, emergence of the diversity of reproductive strategies. 9. Ecology of reproduction: timing of reproduction, advantages and disadvantages of semelparity and iteroparity, sex determination and sex ratios, determinants of parental investments. Fundamentals of animal ecophysiology: adaptations to extreme conditions, differences between aquatic and terrestrial environment, adaptations to environmental variability, dispersal and dormancy. 10. Trophic ecology: herbivory, predation and parasitism, foraging strategies, trophic relationships in ecosystems, trophic cascades. Ecology of animal communities: major structuring forces, the role of interspecific competition, parasitism and mutualism, the role of animals in ecosystems: keystone species, dispersers, pollinators, ecosystem engineers. 11. Distribution of animals on the earth: the role of climate, vegetation and physiological tolerance. Ecological dominance and energetic bilances of different taxa in different biomes. 12. Abundance and population density: why do different species differ in their abundances, correlates of population sizes, generalists and specialists, population growth and regulation, intraspecific interactions: territoriality, aggregation, sociality, coloniality, Alee´s effect. 13. Spread and decline: range sizes and range dynamics, ecological invasions. Extinction and its correlates, current changes in animal abundances and diversity, introductions and extinctions on islands. 14. Dynamics of animal biodiversity: allopatric and sympatric speciation, adaptive radiation and ecomorphological divergence. Species richness of different taxa and its correlates, the role of key innovations. The future of biodiversity.

Learning activities and teaching methods
Learning outcomes
This course concerns basic overview of this field of ecology. Major topics include the sources of ecological diversity of animals and plants, physiological and energetic constraints that determine different life strategies, evolutionary ecology of life-histories, functioning of animals in various ecosystems, dynamics of animal and plant populations and changes in their distributions, intraspecific and interspecific interactions and evolution of animal and plant diversity.


Assessment methods and criteria
Recommended literature
  • Begon, Harper a kol. Ekologie, jedinci, populace a společenstva. Nakl. UP Olomouc.. UP Olomouc, 1997.
  • Divigneaud P. Ekologická syntéza. Academia . Praha.. 1988.
  • Losos, B. Ekologie živočichů. SPN Praha, 316 pp.. 1984.
  • Odum, E. P. Základy ekologie. Academia, Praha. 1997.
  • Slavíková J. Ekologie rostlin. SPN. Praha: 366pp. 1995.
  • Storch, D.-Mihulka, S. Úvod do současné ekologie, Praha, Portál,. 2000.

Study plans that include the course
Faculty Study plan (Version) Branch of study Category Recommended year of study Recommended semester