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Advanced Content in Terrestrial Ecology

Code: 42916 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
4313774 Land Ecology and Biodiversity Management OT 0 1
The proposed teaching and assessment methodology that appear in the guide may be subject to changes as a result of the restrictions to face-to-face class attendance imposed by the health authorities.


Anselm Rodrigo Domínguez

Use of Languages

Principal working language:
spanish (spa)


Daniel Sol Rueda
Raul Garcia Valdes


The module does not require specific requirements.

Objectives and Contextualisation

The objective of the module is to provide students with an updated vision of the main foundations and approaches of terrestrial ecology with a particular emphasis on the most recent advances in the discipline as well as the main concepts that have been reviewed and consolidated throughout  time. In addition, general aspects of the acquisition and limits of scientific knowledge through research, as well as transversal aspects that affect different topics, such as the formalization of ecological concepts, will be worked at different spatial and temporal scales.

Following these goals, the procedure for communication of the results of scientific research will be discussed, analyzing the structure of the scientific texts, mainly articles, and the writing and review process.


  • Communicate, give presentations and write articles in English.
  • Critically assess the strong and weak points of a study. Organise, plan and manage projects related to the area of study.
  • Evaluate and analyse the diversity of animal, plant and fungal organisms from an evolutionary and functional perspective, and their interactions with the medium.
  • Seek out information in the scientific literature using appropriate channels, and use this information to formulate and contextualise a project.
  • Understand and apply the most cutting-edge and influential theories in terrestrial ecology and conservation of biodiversity, and assess their importance for mitigating the main environmental problems caused by human activity.
  • Use acquired knowledge as a basis for originality in the application of ideas, often in a research context.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Analyse technical and scientific documents written in English and understand presentations in English.
  2. Describe the main processes that determine organisms' interactions with each other and with the medium.
  3. Discuss ideas, using scientific evidence and arguments.
  4. Display the (constructively) critical spirit that is essential to science.
  5. Identify some of the main advances and controversies in current ecological science.
  6. Integrate evolutionary factors in the interpretation of current ecological patterns.
  7. Interpret and evaluate the principles and general applications of terrestrial ecology.
  8. Know what distinguishes science from other forms of knowledge.
  9. Situate ecology in the context of science.
  10. Use the main tools for searching in specialist literature.


General principles:

Scientific knowledge and channels of scientific communication


Fundamentals of terrestrial ecology:

Evolutionary ecology

Macroecology and Phylogeography

Autoecology and phenotypic plasticity

Structured Populations and Metapopulations

Loss of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning

Community assembly

Interspecific interactions: antagonism, facilitation, networks

Stoichiometric Ecology

Ecosystem Services

Global Change


The module consists in reading a selection of texts, mainly scientific articles. Based on the reading of these publications, the main themes of terrestrial ecology are presented, as well as students deepen the process of acquisition and transmission of scientific knowledge. Therefore, the ecology content corpus will be acquired through the contextualization of specific problems and situations. This approach allows the student to show the interrelation between different concepts and knowledge and shows in a realistic way the way in which the appearance and consolidation of knowledge in this discipline occurs.


Therefore the methodology of the module is based on the reading, analysis and discussion of scientific texts of ecology, carrying out different activities that include text reading, writing of works, preparation and oral and public presentation of works, resolution of exercises, in addition to sessions theoretical by the teacher and tutorials.


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Seminars 36 1.44 1, 8, 3, 4, 2, 5, 6, 7, 10, 9
Type: Supervised      
Tutorials 4 0.16 1, 8, 3, 4, 2, 5, 6, 7, 10, 9
Type: Autonomous      
Personal work reading and analysis of texts 67.5 2.7 1, 4, 2, 5, 6, 7, 10, 9
Preparation of reports, presentations and materials 40 1.6 1, 4, 2, 5, 6, 7, 10, 9


- Attendance and participation in class (20%): the involvement, participatory activity and rigor of the student is evaluated.

- Student folder with documents and materials generated in the module activities, including those carried out in class and at home (50%).

- Final written review  following the format of a publication (30%)

A minimum attendance of 80% is required in the sessions scheduled by each teacher

Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Attendance and active participation in classes and seminars 20% 1 0.04 1, 8, 3, 4, 2, 5, 6, 7, 10, 9
Documenta and materials presented in class 50% 1 0.04 1, 8, 3, 4, 2, 5, 6, 7, 10, 9
Final module work 30% 0.5 0.02 1, 8, 3, 4, 2, 5, 6, 7, 10, 9


General reference text:

Levin, S.A. (2009) The Princeton Guide to Ecology. Princeton University Press.


The specific list of working texts  will be provided before the beginning of the module.