|Student Learning Goals|
Learning requires you to take an active role in the course. Students in this course are expected to participate in all of the course components including lecture, labs, and lab write ups. Your acquisition of the course material depends on your own personal interpretation of the concepts we cover in class. As an instructor, it is my job to facilitate your learning of forest ecology in an active manner, but ultimately it is up to you to process the information I present to you in this course. During class time we will all be involved in working towards the common goal of learning ecological concepts. Although facts and vocabulary are important to any discipline, I ask you to go beyond simple memorization of details and to interconnect those facts to concepts, applications and problems; to ask meaningful questions; to test well developed hypotheses; to develop a range of intellectual abilities, including critical thinking, logical argument, appropriate uses of evidence and interpretation of varied kinds of information; and communication of your understanding in writing and orally.
|Achieving Learning Goals|
|Active class participation and attendance is a must for your success in this course. You will be expected to participate in cooperative group projects, complete assigned homework and lab assignments, complete reading assignments in advance of class meetings, and critically analyze the themes presented in the course material.|
As the instructor of this course, my goal is to train you in the fundamental principles of landscape ecology using a combination of lecture, field-based learning, statistical analysis, and writing assignments. Through this course, I will lead you through the process of forming research questions, designing experiments, performing statistical analyses, drawing conclusions, and synthesizing results. Through this experience, I hope to help you develop higher-order thinking and reasoning skills so you can successfully explore and demonstrate your abilities to design and execute scientific research projects.
Landscape Ecology in Theory and Practice, M. Turner, R. Gardner, & R.
O'Neill; Springer-Verlag 2001.
They will be available at Broad Street Books. We will probably use only 2-3 exercises from the lab book, Learning Landscape Ecology. There are assigned readings for each lecture. These readings are not optional and must be read prior to lectures. PDF copies of all readings will be available on the Blackboard.
You will be asked to complete 2 lab exercises. These represent a key component of your understanding of the course materials, and they represent a considerable proportion of your grade in this course. Your responses will be due at the beginning of class at the beginning of the lecture one week (Problem Set 1), or two weeks (Problem Set 2) after the problems are handed out.
There will be midterm and final exams. The midterm will be a take home exam that will be handed out in class and will be turned in the following week. The final exam will be held during finals week. The final will emphasize material from the second half of the course, but the course material builds on itself so all of it will be fair game. Both exams will require you to provide short answers and definitions, solve problems and compose essays.
A manuscript will be the major assignment for the course. You will complete this assignment by yourself or in collaboration with one other person from the class. The topic will be of your own choosing, but it must be related to 'landscape ecology' in its broadest sense. You have two options for your paper: perform a meta-analysis, or write a 'standard' literature review. You will learn about meta-analysis during lecture. The manuscript will be formatted as a submission to the journal Ecology (www.esapubs.org). A topic proposal is due at the beginning of class in early October. It should be in the form of a short statement (< 1 page) explicitly outlining: (1) the category of paper you plan to write (metanalysis or conventional literature review), (2) your topic stated as hypothesis and prediction, and (3) a preliminary list of relevant papers. You will have read these papers; do not present a list of relevant sounding titles of unread papers. The paper is due at the beginning of class the week prior to Thanksgiving Break. Readings related to these assignments are included on Blackboard. You will receive more details on the paper assignment in class.
|Grading and Late Policy|
Your final grade will be based on a total of 400 points. Midterm and final examinations will each count for 100 points. Problem sets will be worth 20 points each. The topic proposal will count for 10 points, the manuscript for 150 points. Late work will be penalized at a rate of 10% of assigned points per day. Auditors must take and pass both exams. If you do not want to take the exams you are welcome to sit in on the lectures.
Plan to have papers read prior to each lecture. Digital copies (pdf format) are available on Blackboard.
Wiens, J. A. 1992. What is landscape ecology, really? Landscape Ecology 7:149-150.
Turner, M. G. 2005.Landscape ecology: what is the state of the science? Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 36:319-344.
and Hierarchy on Landscapes
Urban, M. C., D. K. Skelly, D. Burchsted, W. Price, and S. Lowry. 2006. Stream communities across a rural-urban landscape gradient. Diversity & Distributions 12:337-350.
Gurevitch, J., and L. V. Hedges. 1993. Meta-analysis: combining the results of independent experiments. Pages 378-398 in Scheiner, S. M. and J. Gurevitch (Editors), Design and analysis of ecological experiments. Chapman and Hall, New York.
Cadotte, M. W. 2006. Dispersal and species diversity: a meta-analysis. American Naturalist 167:913-924.
Ecological Society of America. Instructions for Authors (website link).
Tittensor DP, Micheli F, Nystrom M, Worm B. 2007. Human impacts on the species-area relationship in reef fish assemblages. Ecology Letters 10:760-772.
Simberloff, D. S., and E. O. Wilson. 1969. Experimental Zoogeography of islands: the colonization of empty islands. Ecology 50:278-296.
Simberloff, D. S., and L. G. Abele. 1976a. Island biogeography theory and conservation practice. Science 191:285-286.
Diamond, J. 1976. Island biogeography and conservation: strategy and limitations. Science 193:1027-1029.
Terborgh, J. 1976. Island biogeography and conservation: strategy and limitations. Science 193:1029-1030.
Whitcomb, R. F. et al. 1976. Island biogeography and conservation: strategy and limitations. Science 193:1030-1032.
Simberloff, D. S., and L. G. Abele. 1976b. Island biogeography and conservation: strategy and limitations. Science 193:1032.
Schoener, T. W. and D. A. Spiller. 1995. Effect of predators and area on invasion: an experiment with island spiders. Science 267:1811-1813.
Levins, R. 1969. Some demographic and genetic consequences of environmental heterogeneity for biological control. Bulletin of the Entomological Society of North America 15:237-240.
Noon, B. R., and K. S. McKelvey. 1996. Management of the Spotted Owl: a case history in conservation biology. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 27:135-162.
Lande, R. 1988. Demographic models of the northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina). Oecologia 75:601-607.
Wiegand, T., F. Jeltsch, I. Hanski, and V. Grimm. 2003. Using pattern-oriented modeling for revealing hidden information: a key for reconciling theory and application. Oikos 100:209-222.
Tilman, D., R. M. May, C. L. Lehman, and M. A. Nowak. 1994. Habitat destruction and the extinction debt. Nature 371:65-66.
Macroecology & Biogeography
Lomolino, M. V., and R. Channell. 1995. Splendid isolation: patterns of geographic range collapse in endangered mammals. Journal of Mammalogy 76:335-347.
Thomas, C. D. et al. 2004. Extinction risk from climate change. Nature 427:145-148.
Corridors, Dispersal & Invasion
Haddad, N. M., D. K. Rosenberg, and B. R. Noon. 2000. On experimentation and the study of corridors: response to Beier and Noss. Conservation Biology 14:1543-1545.
Noss, R. F., and P. Beier. 2000. Arguing over little things: response to Haddad et al. Conservation Biology 14:1546-1548.
Quantifying Landscape Pattern
Swanson, F. J., T. K. Kratz, N. Caine, and R. G. Woodmansee. 1988. Landform effects on ecosystem patterns and processes. BioScience 38: 92-98. (PDF)
Kramer MG, Hansen AJ, Taper ML, Kissinger EJ. 2001. Abiotic controls on long-term windthrow disturbance and temperate rain forest dynamics in southeast Alaska. Ecology 82:2749-68. (PDF)
Pacala, S. W., C. D. Canham, J. Saponara, J. A. Silander, Jr., R. K. Kobe, E. Ribbens. 1996. Forest models defined by field measurements: estimation, error analysis, and dynamics. Ecological Monographs 66:1-43.
Casagrandi, R. and M. Gatto. 1999. A mesoscale approach to extinction risk in fragmented habitats. Nature 400:560-562.
Myers, N. et al. 2000. Biodiversity hotspots for conservation priorities. Nature 403:853-858.
Richards, S. A., H. P. Possingham, and J. Tizard. 1999. Optimal fire management for maintaining community diversity. Ecological Applications 9:880-892.
Reserves in Fragmented Landscapes
Study: Topographic influences on Vegetation Mosaics of the Southwestern US
Poulos, H. M., and A. E. Camp. In Press. Topographic influences on vegetation mosaics and diversity in the Chihuahuan Desert Borderlands