ENV BIOL 2500 - Botany II

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2021

A general introduction to the biology of plants. Lectures and practicals cover plant structure, function, classification, diversity, evolution and responses to environmental stress. Provides a valuable basis for future plant-related courses.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code ENV BIOL 2500
    Course Botany II
    Coordinating Unit School of Biological Sciences
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 5 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Incompatible PLANT SC 2510WT
    Assumed Knowledge BIOLOGY 1101 or BIOLOGY 1401 or BIOLOGY 1001
    Course Description A general introduction to the biology of plants. Lectures and practicals cover plant structure, function, classification, diversity, evolution and responses to environmental stress. Provides a valuable basis for future plant-related courses.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr John Conran

    Benham 109Benham 109
    Name Role Building/Rm Email
    Prof Bob Hill Lecturer Benham GO5a bob.hill@adelaide.edu.au
    Dr John Goodfellow Lecturer Benham 110 john.goodfellow@adelaide.edu.au 
    Dr John Conran Course coordinator Benham 109 john.conran@adelaide.edu.au 
    Prof Andy Lowe Lecturer Braggs 210 andrew.lowe@adelaide.edu.au 
    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 The structure of terrestrial and aquatic plants
    2 The developmental processes involved in growth of plants from seed to flowering
    3 The main physiological and biochemical processes that sustain plant life, including the ability to absorb water and nutrients, carry out photosynthesis and respiration, and the role of plant hormones and signalling
    4 Generic skills of scientific observation, data recording and be able to write a scientific report
    5 The ability to use keys to identify the main groups of plants
    6 The ability to interpret visual symptoms of nutrient deficiencies of plants


    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)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    There are no compulsory textbooks. Botany II builds upon material that was covered in Level 1 biology courses and therefore the textbook for these courses is a good source for the foundation material.
    Recommended Resources

    For the physiology and biochemistry section, the following text is recommended, especially for students intending to take related follow-on courses such as Ecophysiology of Plants III or Terrestrial Ecology III.

    • Taiz & Zeiger ‘Plant Physiology’ 5th Edition

    A more general text covering most of the material in the course is:

    • Raven, Evert & Eichhorn ‘Biology of Plants’ 7th Edition, (approximate cost: $100)

    All students are expected to be familiar with the basic biochemical processes taught in Level 1 biology courses (e.g. Biology 1101, Molecules, Genes and Cells). The following chapters in the textbook ‘Biology’ Campbell, Reece and Meyers 8th Edn (or equivalent textbook) should be revised before coming to the relevant lectures:

    • Ch 7, Membrane structure and function (in relation to nutrient uptake)
    • Ch 9, Respiration;
    • Ch 10, Photosynthesis;
    • Chs 17 & 18 Gene expression and regulation.

    It is recognised that some students will not have done the Level 1 course Biology 1 Organisms and some revision of the relevant material from that course will be provided. However, it is recommended that all students familiarise themselves with the following chapters from ‘Biology’ Campbell, Reece and Meyers 8th Edn (or equivalent textbook):

    • Ch 26: Phylogeny
    • Chs 29 & 30: Plant diversity
    • Ch 35: Plant structure
    • Chs 36 – 39: Plant physiology
    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
    Botany is a science that lends itself well to hands-on learning. The practical component is therefore of high importance. The course is structured so that the topics taught in lectures are reinforced by practical studies in the same or the following week. Each of the practical classes has some assessment component, and feedback is given within two weeks on how well the topic was understood.

    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 the course (e.g., lectures and practicals), as well as non-contact time (e.g., reading and revision).

    Learning Activities Summary
    This course introduces the biology and evolution of plants through lectures including the core components:

    1. General principles of plant biology relating to structure and function
    2. Systematics,evolution and diversity
    3. The physiology of growth and development
    4. Floral biology

     These general principles of plant biology may also be explored further through a range of case studies on topics such as plant nutrition, symbioses, responses to biotic and abiotic stress and photosynthesis.

    Students will also learn to apply scientific approaches in practicals which will expose them to problem solving skills in the areas of plant structure, function and diversity. The aim is to give the students an insight and experience using approaches and techniques
    to study plants and to encourage critical thinking on key issues relating to plants and their interactions with the environment.


  • 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 taskType of assessmentPercentage of total assessment for grading purposesHurdle (Yes/No)Outcome being assessed/achieved
    Practical reports Formative/Summative 50% No 1,2,3,4,6
    Exam  Summative 50% No 1,2,3,6
    Assessment Detail
    Week Practical Assessment %
    1 Mineral Nutrition Data/question sheet 5
    2 Rhizosphere enzymes Formal report 5
    3 Transpiration Data/question sheet 5
    4 Respiration and photosynthesis Data/question sheet 5
    6 Hormones Data question sheet 5
    7 Stems: structure and functions assessed in week 8
    8 Roots: structure and functions Quiz 4
    9 Leaves: structure and functions Quiz
    10 Plant ID1 ID of vegetative specimens 4
    11 Plant ID2 Plant description and
    floral and fruit ID
    12 Aquatic plants Worksheet 4
    Exams Theory exam Short answers 50

    Data sheets and quizzes are to be handed up before you leave the lab.

    Late submission of assessments

    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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