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Module No. (P/WP) 
Module name 
Population and Community Ecology 
Module coordinator 
Prof. Dr. M. Boppré boppre@fzi.uni-freiburg.de 
Additional teaching staff 
Prof. Dr. I. Storch, Prof. Dr. A. Reif 
In addition to individuals, populations and communities are important ecological entities. Plant species 
associating on certain sites form plant communities, which in turn, provide the basis for animal 
communities. Shifts in site conditions or successions result in a gradual turnover of species 
occurrences, both in plants and animals, that are linked in multiple and complex ways. Ecosystem 
management is based, in part, on population management by enhancement or suppression, 
respectively. Management goals include harvesting, conservation, and control of populations. 
Basic principles of population dynamics (biotic as well as abiotic factors) are significant for the 
understanding of various types of population dynamics. Some contexts are particularly highlighted 
because different factors have different impact according to species or management context:  
•  Insect populations: examples for communities and their dynamics 
•  Wildlife Ecology: introduction to wildlife population ecology as a basis of wildlife management 
•  Neobiota: influences of alien species on their 'new' environment  
•  Relationships between sites and vegetation; indicator values of species 
•  Plant formations and communities: concepts, definitions, examples  
•  Ecological gradients 
Learning goals and qualifications 
In this module students learn and study biological basics of populations and communities such as 
structure, dynamics, and determining factors. Major objective is to understand relationships between 
pedology, climatology, species compositions; the formation of plant and animal communities and 
populations, their ecological function, the relations among animals and between plants and animals. 
Furthermore, cases are presented and analysed to understand complexity of biotic and abiotic 
Since every single problem of managing populations is unique; case studies are used to develop 
general principles and concepts that can be transferred to analyse any case for identifying biological 
factors crucial for management approaches. Students will be enabled to develop and implement 
adapted concepts and to consider and synthesize information from other sources (literature, modules). 

Teaching and learning methods 
Lectures, tutorials 
recommended: propaedeutic self-study according to list of keywords 
Requirements for registration 
Distribution of workload 
Contact hours 
60 h (lectures, exam) 
Independent learning  
65 h (preparation, reading …) 
Proposed assessment 
written exam 
protocol of 'take-home-messages' 
Link to learning resources 
Alcock, J (1993) Animal Behavior. Sunderland/Mass.: Sinauer  
Begon M, Thompson M, Mortimer M (eds) (1990) Population Ecology. Blackwell Science  
Campbell NA, Reece JB (2004) Biology. Heidelberg: Spektrum 
Gullan PJ, Cranston PS (1994) The Insects: An outline of entomology. London: Chapman & 
Krebs JR, Davis NB (1993) An introduction to behavioural ecology. Oxford: Blackwell  
Krausman PR (2002) The basics of habitat. Chapter 16 (pp 292-302) in Krausman PR (2002) 
(ed.) Introduction of Wildlife management. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall 
Bolen EG & Robinson WL (1999) Population Ecology. Chapter 5 (pp 45-66) in Bolen EG & 
Robinson WL (eds) (1999) Wildlife ecology & management. 4th ed. Upper Saddle River/NJ: 
Prentice Hall 
Van der Maarel E (ed.) (2005) Vegetation Ecology. Oxford: Blackwell 

Basic Information


Forest Ecology and Management


Master of Science (M.Sc.)

Language of Instruction:



2 years / 4 semesters

Total number of credits:

120 ECTS

accredited by: Acquin-Logo

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