Ecology & Environment

Plant Ecology & Environment LPS.515, 3 Credits
Course Logistics

This twenty-weeks long course is designed to lay foundations of Ecology & Environment with special emphasize on marine estuarine and limnetic ecosystems.

One particularly exciting feature of our course is the free in-course textbook materials. This textbook is not required, but it should be helpful to students who want to read more detailed explanations or additional examples or who want to delve more deeply into topics that fascinate them. Please note that access to the textbook is available only for the duration of the course.  


Short ungraded exercises will occasionally be embedded into lectures. Each lecture will be followed by ungraded exercises. Answers to these exercises will be given and explained after you reply to the questions. These exercises do not introduce new material, but they enable you to check your understanding of the lectures. If you miss too many of the exercises after a lecture, then you might want to listen to that lecture again.

Time Commitment

You should expect to spend on about 3 hours per week taking the lectures, another 2 hours per week doing the exercises, and about 1 hour on each quiz. You might want to spend additional time doing the reading and participating in the discussion forums.

Online Q&A Section!forum/plant-ecology-environment

Hangouts Group Video Chat Session

Next Google Hangouts Group Video Chat Session is scheduled on August 24, 2017 4PM-5PM Indian Standard Time

How to join?
    Just click on the above image on the schedule. I will be available 5 minutes before the schedule. Make sure you are on a mic, and at a well-lit place. Hangouts works on mobile phones as well with Hangouts application.

Previous schedules (2016)
August 25
Sep 8
Sep 24
Oct 6
Oct 22

Syllabus & Course Materials

Unit: 1                                                                                                                           14 Lectures

The Environment: Physical environment, biotic environment, biotic and abiotic interactions. Concept of habitat and niche, niche width and overlap, fundamental and realized niche, resource partitioning, and character displacement.


20,000 Leagues Under the Sea E-Book
Begon - Ecology - From Individuals to Ecosystems 4e E-Book

Unit: 2                                                                                                                          14 Lectures

Ecosystem: Structure and function, energy flow and mineral cycling (CNP), primary production and decomposition, structure and function of some Indian ecosystems: terrestrial (forest, grassland) and aquatic (fresh water, marine, eustarine). Types, mechanisms, changes involved in succession, concept of climax. Nature of communities, community structure and attributes, levels of species diversity and its measurement, edges and ecotones.


Presentations: Ecosystems, Marine Realm, Biomes

Enger-Ross - Concepts in Biology 10th Ed Chapter 14.
Mader - Biology - Inquiry into Life 9th Ed Chapter 34
Mader - Biology - Inquiry into Life 9th Ed Chapter 36

Unit: 3                                                                                                                          18 Lectures

Population ecology: Characteristics of a population, population growth curves, population regulation, life history strategies (r and K selection), concept of metapopulation – demes and dispersal, interdemic extinctions, age structured populations. Types of interactions, interspecific competition, herbivory, carnivory, pollination and symbiosis.

Unit: 4                                                                                                                           8 Lectures

Environmental Sustainability: Global environmental change, ozone depletion, biodiversity-status, monitoring and documentation, major drivers of biodiversity change, biodiversity management approaches, Carbon credit.

Mader - Biology - Inquiry into Life 9th Ed Chapter 36


        Tuesdays and Wednesday's 3rd period, Room # 11.