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POPULATION ECOLOGY

             
Compulsory/Elective Code Semester Lectures Practicals Credits ECTS
Compulsory 13A501 5th 4 Hrs/Wk 3 Hrs/Wk 5 7,0
Aims:
 
 

The aim of the course is to provide the students with basic knowledge on concepts related to: a) the population, the factors that affect their size, their distribution in time and in space, b) growth patterns of populations and the mathematical models describing them, c) population interactions in nature, d) evolution of populations, e) the threats that populations are facing in the wild, as well as the methods for populations monitoring  and their restoration if threatened, f) the Biological invasions, g) the climate change and its effects upon populations.

Students after attending the course are expected to have developed skills for understanding the fundamentals of Population Ecology, the basic methods for studying and monitoring populations as well as their status of threat.

 
Objectives:
 
 

At the end of the course students should: a) be able to acquire enhanced knowledge on ecological issues, b) be able to work in groups, c) be able to use their knowledge in solving simple ecological problems, d) be able to develop their judgment, their critical way of thinking for making decisions on ecological issues related to populations

 
Lectures:
 
 

Population organization: Properties of populations, spatial arrangement, social organization, dispersal and migration.

Population structure: Size of population - density of a population.

Population Growth: Intrinsic growth rate, biotic potential, Demography, Life Tables, Patterns of population growth.

Populations interactions:  Competition, Predation, Mutualism, models of pop. interactions.

Regulation of Populations: Oscillations in population size. Density dependent regulation and density independent regulation. r and K demographic strategies.

Evolution of Populations : Processes and adaptations. Diversity and Stability of Populations. Small Populations.

Methods of studying Populations: Applied Population Biology. Populations Monitoring. Population Viability Analysis. Establishing new populations - metapopulations.  

Conservation of Populations: Categories of populations threats according to IUCN

Human Populations: Structure and growth. Interactions with environment.

 
Practicals:
 
 

1. Spatial organization patterns of plant populations – 2. Interspecific competition of tree species – 3. Intraspecific competition of invertebrates – 4. Structure of soil invertebrates (frequency, abundance, spatial arrangements patterns) – 5. Structure of soil invertebrates (diversity and similarity indices) – 6. Biotic interactions of soil fungi – 7. Predation - simulation experiments – 8. Food preference; effect of population density on food preferences – 9. Human demography – 10. Categorizing species according to IUCN criteria of threatened populations

 
Instructors:
 
  Lectures: Margarita Arianoutsou - Farangitaki, Professor of Ecology (Coordinator) - Aristeidis Parmakelis, Associate Professor of Biodiversity and Population Ecology - Konstantinos Triantis, Assistant Professor of Ecosystems Biodiversity
 
  Practicals: Margarita Arianoutsou - Farangitaki, Professor of Ecology - Aristeidis Parmakelis, Associate Professor of Biodiversity and Population Ecology - Konstantinos Triantis, Assistant Professor of Ecosystems Biodiversity - Zacharoula Gonou-Zagou, Assistant Professor of Fungal Systematics and Ecology - D. Kazanis,  Laboratory Teaching Staff - C. Radea,  Laboratory Teaching Staff - P. Andriopoulos,  Laboratory Teaching Staff - I. Louvrou, Laboratory Teaching Staff - I. Pyrri,  Laboratory Teaching Staff - I. Bazos, Laboratory Teaching Staff - I. Kokkoris, Technical Staff.
 
Notes:
 
 

Students evaluation is performed in Greek. A final examination is organized covering all subjects taught and it consists of: a) written examination - questions of multiple choice, questions requiring short answers, questions requiring critical judgment (60%), b) written examination in the practicals (20%), c) group reports on each practical exercise (20%), d) Optional group seminar - bonus 0.5-1 to the passing grade. A pass is required in both written examinations for a successful result.

 
Contact:
 
  If you require more information, please contact the Course Coordinator, Prof. Margarita Arianoutsou - Farangitaki, at: Tel +30 727 4352; e-mail: marianou[at]biol.uoa[dot]gr