School of Environment, Resources and Development, (SERD)

ED76.01 : Ecological Principles for Natural Resources Management  3(3-0)
Course Objectives:

Managing and conserving natural resources requires a fundamental understanding of natural dynamics. This course will introduce students to the essential concepts of ecology and familiarise them with ecosystem patterns and processes at various spatial and temporal scales. A special focus lies on measurements of characteristics of ecosystems as engineering scientists, in particular on forests and woodlands. The importance of ecology for sustainable natural resource management will be illustrated from the points of ecosystem services..

Learning Outcomes:
The students on completion of this course will be able to:
1.      Distinguish ecosystems and their associated problems
2.      Discriminate the mechanisms of ecosystem formation
3.      Analyse the roles of ecosystem services
4.      Apply appropriate measurement tools for ecosystem analysis


Course Outline:
I.         Ecosystem on the Earth
1.    Earth environment as a planet
2.    Climate zone
3.    Climate andterrestrial ecosystems

II.        Characteristics of Terrestrial Ecosystem
1.    Mechanisms of ecosystem formation
2.    Ecosystem types
3.    Biodiversity

III.       Ecological Processes in Terrestrial Ecosystems
1.     Structure of ecosystem
2.     Growth of vegetation
3.     Material cycle
IV.       Ecosystem Services
1.      Ecosystems and human relations
2.      Characteristics of ecosystem services
3.      Evaluation of ecosystem services

V.       Worldwide Issues and Asian Problem
1.      Climate change and ecosystems
2.      Human activities and ecosystem
3.      Ecosystem management and natural conservation

Laboratory Sessions:


1.     Chapin III, F. S., P.A. Matson and P.M. Vitousek, 2012. Principles of Terrestrial Ecosystem Ecology, Springer, New York.
2.     Kricher, J., 2011. Tropical Ecology, Princeton University Press, New Jersey
Reference Books:
1.     Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005. Ecosystem and Human Well-Being, Synthesis, Island Press, Washington, DC.
2.     Magurran, A. E., 2004. Measuring Biological Diversity, Blackwell Publishing, Malden, Oxford, Victoria
3.     Whitmore, T.C., 1984. Tropical Rain Forests of the Far East, Oxford University Press, Oxford
4.     FAO, 2015. Forest Resources Assessment 2015, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome
5.     Allaby, M., 2006. Oxford Dictionary of Ecology, Oxford University Press, Oxford
6.     Archibold, O.W., 1995. Ecology of World Vegetation, Chapman and Hall, London
Journals and Magazines:
1.     Biotropica [Wiley]
2.     Conservation Biology [Wiley]
3.     International Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology [Taylor & Francis]
4.     Journal of Tropical Ecology [Cambridge University Press]
5.     Conservation Letters  [Wiley]

Others: Relevant and selected articles will be distributed.
Teaching and Learning Methods:
The course will focus on participative learning, classroom lecturing, invited lectures, group discussions, group and individual presentations, individual assignments, and field visits.
Evaluation Scheme:

Both Mid-semester and Final exams are closed book and caries 30% and 40% weight, respectively. Term-paper write-up and presentation made by individual students during the class carries another 30% weight.

Grade “A” will be awarded if a student can demonstrate thorough knowledge and mastery of concepts and techniques and understanding of subject matter with high degree of skill to relate them with real world examples from the region and beyond. Grade “B” will be awarded if a student can demonstrate good knowledge and mastery of concepts and understanding of subject matter with good skill of relating them with real work cases. Grade “C” will be awarded if a student can demonstrate some knowledge of the concepts and understanding but lacks skill of relating them with real world cases. Grade “D” will be awarded if a student has poor understanding of concepts and techniques with no or little skill to relate with real world cases. Grade “F” will be awarded if student demonstrates very poor and limited knowledge and understanding of concepts and lacks the skill to relate with real world cases.