Course: Vegetation science

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Course title Vegetation science
Course code BOT/VOV
Organizational form of instruction Lecture
Level of course Master
Year of study not specified
Semester Winter
Number of ECTS credits 4
Language of instruction Czech
Status of course Compulsory, Compulsory-optional, Optional
Form of instruction Face-to-face
Work placements This is not an internship
Recommended optional programme components None
  • Hédl Radim, Mgr. MgA. Ph.D.
  • Duchoslav Martin, RNDr. Ph.D.
Course content
Lectures 1-2. Vegetation and environment: continuities and discontinuities 3-4. Vegetation types and their broad-scale distribution 5-6. Competition, positive interactions and organization of plant communities 7. Student's presentations of critical analyses of published studies 8-9. Species diversity and functioning of plant communities 10-11. Classification of vegetation using formal definitions (Juice software) 12. Vegetation dynamics (succession) 13. Plant invasions, nature conservation and restoration

Learning activities and teaching methods
Monologic Lecture(Interpretation, Training), Dialogic Lecture (Discussion, Dialog, Brainstorming), Work with Text (with Book, Textbook), Demonstration
  • Homework for Teaching - 1 hour per semester
  • Preparation for the Course Credit - 5 hours per semester
  • Preparation for the Exam - 10 hours per semester
  • Semestral Work - 3 hours per semester
Learning outcomes
Aim of the course is to introduce students the concept of plant community which assumes that occurrence and abundance of plant species are not solely driven by abiotic factors and competitive exclusion. Using case studies lectures will demonstrate many positive interactions among plant species (facilitation), thus bringing evidence of functional interdependence of co-existing species. Further, following issues of vegetation ecology will be presented: plant dispersion and clonality in relation to species abundance and co-existence, determinants of plant diversity, diversity patterns at different spatial scales, succession and restoration. Students will gain insight into classification methods adopted in vegetation studies, i.e. classification into vegetation units using diagnostic species.
- overview of the main vegetation types and their underlying mechanisms - qualification for classification of plant communities into described vegetation units - knowledge of classification techniques
- willingness of generating and testing ecological hypothesis - general overview about plant ecology - knowledge of handling data in spreadsheet (MS Excel) - knowledge of basic statistical techniques and data handling in statistical software (e.g. Statistica, Canoco, Juice) - own laptop
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Assessment methods and criteria
Oral exam, Written exam, Seminar Work

- active participiation in discussion during lectures - 2 points - critical analysis of published study and its presentation in course - 3 points - writing of seminar work - 5 points
Recommended literature
  • Callaway, RM. (2010). Positive interactions and interdependence in plant communities. Berlin.
  • Ellenberg, H. (1988). Vegetation ecology of central Europe. Cambridge.
  • Lepš, J., Šmilauer, P. (2003). Multivariate analysis of ecological data using CANOCO. Cambridge.
  • Van der Maarel, E. (2005). Vegetation ecology. Oxford.

Study plans that include the course
Faculty Study plan (Version) Branch of study Category Recommended year of study Recommended semester
Faculty of Science Ecology and Environmental Protection (1) Ecology and environmental protection 1 Winter
Faculty of Science Botany (2015) Biology courses 1 Winter
Faculty of Science Landscape Protection and Planning (2015) Ecology and environmental protection - Winter