Full Title:Applied ecology
Module Code:ENVR S7008
Credits: 7.5
Valid From:Semester 2 - 2014/15 ( February 2015 )
Module Delivered in 4 programme(s)
Module Description:1. To give the student a knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of theoretical ecology. 2. To give the student an appreciation of the impacts of humans on the global environment. 3. To give the student an awareness and understanding of the impacts of human activities on ecosystem functioning and the associated legislative control measures. 4. To provide training in a range of sampling and analytical techniques used in environmental monitoring, including the analysis, presentation and interpretation of results. 5. To develop a number of communication skill sets such as report writing, oral presentation and teamwork skills.
Learning Outcomes:
On successful completion of this module the learner should be able to
  1. Describe the fundamentals of theoretical ecology.
  2. Identify the impacts of humans on the global environment.
  3. Perform a variety of biological techniques used in ecosystem studies.
  4. Develop the skill to collect, record, analyse, present and interpret data generated from the field and laboratory techniques.

Module Content & Assessment

Indicative Content
Theoretical ecology
Ecosystem science; community and population ecology; species interactions; competitive exclusion principle; ecological niches; biodiversity; food webs and energy flow; demography; life histories and population growth; regulation of population size.
Conservation and management
Human effects on biodiversity and habitats, including agriculture; conservation site designation – NHA, SAC and SPA; invasive species; legislation associated with biodiversity and conservation.
Basic freshwater ecology
Hydrology cycle; physical and chemical characteristics of rivers; biology and classification of rivers. Freshwater pollution issues: toxic organic micropollutants; fish kills. Physical and chemical characteristics of groundwater; sampling and analytical techniques for rivers; design of sampling programmes; biotic indices of pollution assessment; legislation associated with freshwater pollution.
Fundamental biogeochemistry
Rocks and minerals; soil formation and types; soil sampling techniques; introduction to biogeochemical cycles – C, O, P, N, S.
A number of practicals will be selected from the following: measurement of temperature, air velocity, relative humidity and pressure in indoor and ambient air and in a laboratory ventilation system; collection of samples, digestion of filters and analysis by Flame AAS; identification of freshwater macroinvertebrates from rivers of contrasting water quality; hardness of water; alkalinity of freshwater; determination of oxygen saturation and biochemical oxygen demand; analysis of some physical and chemical characteristics of soil including pH, electrical conductivity, zinc and iron content. Determination of population size using mark-recapture method
Assessment Breakdown%
Course Work50.00%
End of Module Formal Examination50.00%

Full Time

Course Work
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Marks Out Of Pass Marks Assessment Date Duration
Project Students will carry out a river survey and determine water quality. A report will be produced and results will be presented to the class 2,4 20.00 0 0 Sem 2 End 0
Practical/Skills Evaluation weekly lab reports 1,3,4 30.00 0 0 Every Week 0
No Project
No Practical
End of Module Formal Examination
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Marks Out Of Pass Marks Assessment Date Duration
Formal Exam End-of-Semester Final Examination 1,2,3 50.00 0 0 End-of-Semester 0

DKIT reserves the right to alter the nature and timings of assessment


Module Workload & Resources

Workload: Full Time
Workload Type Workload Description Hours Frequency Average Weekly Learner Workload
Lecture The theory course will be delivered in 36 hours of lectures. Case histories will be used to illustrate the application and relevance of environmental monitoring techniques, e.g. River Big, Co. Louth – a case study of recovery from severe organic pollution. 3.00 Every Week 3.00
Practical Practical techniques will be taught in laboratory practical classes and on field trips. 3.00 Every Week 3.00
Directed Reading No Description 2.00 Every Week 2.00
Independent Study No Description 4.00 Every Week 4.00
Total Weekly Learner Workload 12.00
Total Weekly Contact Hours 6.00
This course has no Part Time workload.
Recommended Book Resources
  • Jones, A.M. 2000, Environmental Biology, Routledge
  • White, R.E. 2005, Principles and Practice of Soil Science, Wiley
  • Mason, C.F. 2002, Biology of Freshwater Pollution, Pearson, Prentice & Hall
  • Moss, B. 2010, Ecology of Freshwaters, Blackwell, Oxford
  • Closs, G., Downes, B and Boulton 2004, Freshwater Ecology: A Scientific Introduction
This module does not have any article/paper resources
Other Resources

Module Delivered in

Programme Code Programme Semester Delivery
DK_SENVI_8 Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Environmental Bioscience 4 Mandatory
DK_SAPBI_7 Bachelor of Science in Applied Bioscience 4 Mandatory
659 Bachelor of Science in Environmental Bioscience 4 Mandatory
Dk_SAPBI_6 Higher Certificate in Science 4 Mandatory