UE Code : IL3-PCP-POP Academic year : 2016-2017

Information on the course unit

Program / Education :

Bachelor and Master of Science in Engineering / Bachelor and Master of Science in Engineering

Level :

Third year of Bachelor of Science in Engineering

Language(s) :


Studies organization

Credits :


Semester :


Total Hours :

30.00 (Hours of teaching + individual study)


Objectives :

A reminder of the general ecology objectives in the main course curriculum:
- To be able to describe and analyze the functioning of a natural system under human influence;
- To appreciate the value of fundamental ecology for understanding the effects of farming practices and their impacts on the environment.

Be able:
- To define two levels of organization in ecology: the population and the community;
- To link the life history of a plant or animal species to a population dynamics model;
- To appreciate the relevance of modelling for the study of natural phenomena;
- To cite the main applications of population dynamics;
- To analyze the flow of matter and energy between different trophic levels;
- To understand the importance of interactions between species in ecosystems, to better manage them;
- To cite some concepts from landscape ecology used to study the influence of landscape structure on plant and animal populations and communities.

Contents :

Population ecology
- Population ecology, definitions, examples of real population fluctuations, methods for studying populations;
- Models of population dynamics – exponential and logistic growth and age structured models;
- Competition and predation – Lotka and Volterra models
- Metapopulation models
Community ecology
- Diversity of interactions between species – positive interactions (amensalism, commensalism, mutualism) – symbioses
- Foodwebs
- Plant succession (communities, successions and series)
- Effects of constraints and disturbance, species assemblages, diversity and productivity
Landscape Ecology
- Landscapes, how man modifies them and an introduction to landscape ecology
- Populations and communities in landscapes and introduction to conservation biology

Prerequisites :

Module IL2-EVM “Living organisms in their natural environment” with its prerequisites.
Mathematics module in IL2.

Teaching methods :

Lectures, seminars and practicals and an assignment.
1 seminars (TD), calculation and manipulation of mathematical models
1 seminars (TD) on case of a real population dynamics study
1 practical (TP) on “Predation” to study the factors influencing the predator efficiency
1 seminar (TD) Foodwebs

Assignment: Literature search and synthesis on the topic of "Interactions between species which can contribute to the agriculture of the future"
Note: This exercise provides material which is used again within the communication module IL3 S5

Assessment :

1 individual written exam of 2 hrs worth 1.8 ECTS
Literature search and synthesis group work (3 students) worth 1.2 ECTS

Bibliography :

3rd year of Bachelor of Science in Engineering

Here are the modules of the Bachelor of Science in Engineering. On the second semester, besides all the compulsory common courses, students will choose between 2 minors : "Types of Agriculture and Territories" or "Business and Transformation".