ENV BIOL 3009 - Ecophysiology of Plants III

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2014

This course explores interactions between plants and their environment from a physiological perspective. It will consolidate and extend knowledge of the processes involved in the acquisition and transport of resources by plants and use this knowledge to examine the ways plants have adapted to a range of environments, some of which can be considered as extreme. The course will also look at how plants respond to environmental challenges such as climate change, ozone depletion, salinisation and heavy metal toxicity. Interactions with other organisms will also be examined including mycorrhizas and parasitic plants. Practical work will include small group experiments. Details of field trip communicated at start of the course.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code ENV BIOL 3009
    Course Ecophysiology of Plants III
    Coordinating Unit School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 6 hours per week, plus field trip
    Assumed Knowledge ENV BIOL 2500
    Course Description This course explores interactions between plants and their environment from a physiological perspective. It will consolidate and extend knowledge of the processes involved in the acquisition and transport of resources by plants and use this knowledge to examine the ways plants have adapted to a range of environments, some of which can be considered as extreme. The course will also look at how plants respond to environmental challenges such as climate change, ozone depletion, salinisation and heavy metal toxicity. Interactions with other organisms will also be examined including mycorrhizas and parasitic plants. Practical work will include small group experiments.
    Details of field trip communicated at start of the course.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr John Goodfellow

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course students will be able to:
    1 Describe physiological processes by which plants acquire resources such as water, nutrients and carbon;
    2 Describe and explain the factors contributing to energy budgets in leaves;
    3 Explain how water moves through the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum and describe factors that influence this movement;
    4 Explain how and why abiotic stresses such as drought, salinity, heavy metals, high light and temperature impact on plant performance;
    5 Describe how parasitic plants acquire resources from their hosts;
    6 Explain the likely effects of global change (CO2, climate & UV) on plants;
    7 Describe the interaction between plants and mycorrhizal fungi and the impact it has on plant performance and distribution;
    8 Generate hypotheses to explain observations of plant performance and distribution in the field;
    9 Acquire, analyse and present data using appropriate techniques, then plan and write a research paper reporting the results;
    10 Work independently and as part of a team.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1-8
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 9,10
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 1-10
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 8,9,10
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 8,9
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1-10
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 1-10
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Course Handbook
    Recommended Resources
    Text books:
    Taiz & Zeiger (2010) Plant Physiology. 5th ed. Sinauer Assoc. Mass, USA

    Lambers, Chapin, & Pons (2008) Plant Physiological Ecology. 2nd ed. Springer-Verlag, New York, USA

    These texts are available for purchase from UniBooks or Encompass Books. There are copies of each in the Barr-Smith Library Reserve Collection.  In addition, the Lambers et al. text is available as an ebook online through the library catalogue.
    Online Learning
    MyUni:   
    Teaching materials and course documentation will be posted on the MyUni website (http://myuni.adelaide.edu.au/). 

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The course consists of lectures, practicals and a field camp. The practicals and field camp are designed to complement and reinforce material presented in lectures, and to provide students with experience of data collection, analysis, and report writing.  Students will also develop skills with laboratory and field-based techniques commonly used in the discipline of Plant Ecophysiology. 

    A range of teaching methodologies will be used, including: traditional lectures, problem-based learning, small group activities, and guided activities.
    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    A student enrolled in a 3 unit course, such as this, should expect to spend, on average 12 hours per week on the studies required. This includes both the formal contact time required to attend the course (e.g., lectures and practicals), as well as non-contact time (e.g., reading and revision).
    Learning Activities Summary
    Schedule
    Week 1 Lecture
    Lecture
    Practical
    Abiotic Stress 1 – Salinity
    Abiotic Stress 2 – Acid soils
    Prac 1: Abiotic Stress Week 1
    Week 2 Lecture
    Lecture
    Practical
    Abiotic Stress 3 – Heavy metals
    Plant and Soil Analysis
    Prac 1: Abiotic Stress Week 2
    Week 3 Lecture
    Lecture
    Practical
    Plant Stress – Light 1
    Plant Stress – Light 2
    Prac 2: Light Acclimation Week 1
    Week 4 Lecture
    Lecture
    Practical
    Photosynthesis – C4
    Photosynthesis - CAM
    Prac 2 Light Acclimation Week 2
    Week 5 Lecture
    Lecture
    Practical
    Parasitic Plants – Physiology
    Parasitic Plants – Ecological roles
    No practical
    Week 6 Lecture
    Lecture
    Practical
    Water Relations 1
    Water Relations 2
    Prac 3: Water Relations Week 1
    Week 7 Lecture
    Lecture
    Practical
    Transpiration: leaf, stem and root
    Transpiration: cavitation & embolism
    Prac 3: Water Relations Week 2
    Week 8 Lecture
    Lecture
    Practical
    Energy Budgets in leaves 1
    Energy Budgets in leaves 2
    Field Trip planning
    Mid-semester break Field Camp
    Week 9 Lecture
    Lecture
    Practical
    Mycorrhizas: Structure and function
    Mycorrhizas: Ecological impacts
    Field Trip Review
    Week 10 Lecture
    Lecture
    Practical
    Plant Respiration 1
    Plant Respiration 2
    Field Trip report
    Week 11 Lecture
    Lecture
    Practical
    Global Change: Rising CO2
    Global Change: Climate change
    Field Trip report DUE
    Week 12 Lecture
    Lecture
    Practical
    Global Change: UV

    Specific Course Requirements
    All students must attend the 3-day Field Camp to Brookfield Conservation Park.  The field camp will be held in the mid-semester break.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Task Type Hurdle Weighting Learning Outcome
    Practical reports Formative/Summative No 30% 1, 9,10
    Field Trip report Formative/Summative No 20% 1, 8-10
    Exam Summative

    No

    50% 1 - 7
    Assessment Detail
    A list of the tasks to be completed is provided in the previous Section.  Practical 1 will be submitted as a consultant’s report. Requirements for this report will be discussed in the practical.

    Practicals 2 & 3  and Field Camp Reports are to be prepared as if you were submitting a scientific paper to the journal New Phytologist.  In addition, you will be instructed on how to analyse and prepare data for your reports in Prac 1.

    A proportion of marks for each report will be allocated for correct presentation, so make sure that you follow these instructions carefully.

    The following rubric will be used to mark reports 2, 3 and the Field Camp Report. Instructions for Prac 1 will be provided separately.    

    Criteria (weighting) Score
    Summary: Concise summary with: background, question,
    approach, results & conclusions (10%)
    Introduction:
    Background and justification for work (10%)
    Methods: Complete (5%)
    Results: Correctly analysed and presented (20%)
    Discussion: Results discussed and interpreted in context of
    existing knowledge (20%)
    References: Used, cited and presented correctly (5%)
    Higher Order Skills
    Logical organisation of material (10%)
    Critical evaluation of literature (10%)
    Clear and unambiguous use of English (10%)
    Total Score  100
    Submission
    Practical Reports and the Field Camp Report are to be submitted by midnight on the due date.

    All Reports are to be submitted electronically in MyUni using the Turnitin Assignments feature.

    Extensions for Assessment Tasks
    Extensions of deadlines for assessment tasks may be allowed for reasonable causes.  Such situations would include compassionate and medical grounds of the severity that would justify the awarding of a replacement examination.  Evidence for the grounds must be provided when an extension is requested.  Students are required to apply for an extension to the Course Co-ordinator before the assessment task is due.  Extensions will not be provided on the grounds of poor prioritising of time. 


    If an extension is not applied for, or not granted then a penalty for late submission will apply. 
    A penalty of 10% of the value of the assignment for each calendar day that is late (i.e. weekends count as 2 days), up to a maximum of 50% of the available marks will be applied.  This means that an assignment that is 5 days or more late without an approved extension can only receive a maximum of 50% of the mark.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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