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Course Description: BIOL 427 introduces the fundamental principles of how ecological systems function and how they are structured at organism, population and community levels. Concurrent enrolment in BIOL 427L (lab) and BIOL 492H (field) is required. These components are designed to introduce the scientific method of ecology through observation of patterns in nature, developing and testing hypotheses, synthesis and presentation of ecological research. The course provides exposure and experience in using the tools and techniques that ecologists use to gather and analyze data collected in the field.

Textbook: Krebs, C. J. 2001. Ecology: the experimental analysis of distribution and abundance. 5th Edition. Benjamin Cummings, San Francisco, CA. ISBN 0-321-04289-1


Major Topics Covered
  • Physiological Ecology - the physiological mechanisms that plants and animals use in responding to their environment
  • Population Ecology - the growth and distribution of populations
  • Behavioral Ecology - the behavioral responses of animals to social and ecological factors
  • Ecology of Evolution - the role of the ecological environment in the evolution of traits of organisms
  • Demography and Life History - the lifetime patterns of growth, development and reproduction
  • Competition - the interactions among species sharing similar resources
  • Predation - the ecology of the interactions between predators and their prey
  • Plant-Herbivore Interactions - the ecolgy of the interactions between herbivores and their prey - plants
  • Community Ecology - the dynamic relations among assemblages of populations occurring in the same area or habitat
  • Applied Ecology - the application of ecological principles to the conservation and management of species
Class Links

BIOL 427 Photos
Population Estimation/carapace measurement of Shore Crabs February 6, 2006
Pachygrapsus crassipes
UCSB Sedgwick Reserve Weekend Field Trip March 17-19, 2006
Dipodomys agilis
Population Estimation of Water Striders September 14, 2005
Sierra Nevada, White Mountain Weekend Field Trip September 30 - October 2, 2005
Bristlecone Pine Forest, White Mountain
Fossil Falls
Chatsworth Park - Shrub Community Diversity Lab October 19, 2005
Foraging Under Predation Risk in Fox Squirrels October 24, 2005

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