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ECOL211 Ecology of Communities and Ecosystems

Focuses on how species interact, how these interactions build communities, how natural and human induced disturbances affect the integrity and sustainability of communities, and how an understanding of community and ecosystem-level processes can aid the restoration and management of natural areas for conservation.

Paper title Ecology of Communities and Ecosystems
Paper code ECOL211
Subject Ecology
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,141.35
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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ECOL 111
Schedule C
ECOL111 may be taken as a corequisite by students who have already passed 72 points from Science Schedule C.
Teaching staff

Course coordinators: Dr Katja Schweikert and Dr Travis Ingram

Paper Structure

This paper focuses on:

  • How species interact
  • How these interactions build communities
  • How natural and human-induced disturbances affect the structure and functioning of communities
  • How an understanding of community and ecosystem-level processes can aid the conservation, restoration and management of natural areas

The practical aspect of the paper will examine how communities respond to disturbance and examine how real communities and ecosystems are managed and rebuilt through visits to some local examples.


William D. Bowman, Sally D. Hacker, and Michael L. Cain (2017) Ecology. Fourth edition. Sunderland, Massachusetts: Sinauer Associates, Inc. Publishers.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Environmental literacy, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this paper will:

  • Understand how the activities of species affect other individuals and species
  • Understand how groups of interacting individuals and species persist
  • Explain the processes involved that enable complex groups of individuals and species to persist
  • Develop skills in experimental design, group work, critical thinking and scientific communication (including report writing and oral communication)

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Semester 1

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Tuesday 11:00-11:50 9-14, 16, 18-22
Thursday 11:00-11:50 9-14, 16-22


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Friday 09:00-12:50 9-13, 16-22
A2 Friday 14:00-17:50 9-13, 16-22