Community Ecology

COMMUNITY ECOLOGY

EFB 796, Section 01, Spring 2005

Description: Community ecology has often been considered a ‘poor cousin’ of both population and ecosystem ecology.  Certainly progress in understanding the processes that influence community structure and function has been slower than understanding the abiotic and biotic factors controlling population dynamics.  A basic understanding of community ecology, however, is essential for any biologist studying theoretical and applied ecology, or related fields such as conservation biology.  This course will include topics such as competition and predation models, food webs, community assembly rules, spatial dynamics, causes and consequences of diversity, succession, and applied community ecology.  The course will be a mix of discussion and lecture.

<> Meeting Time: 10:35 AMnoon, Mondays and Wednesdays

Location: 127 Illick Hall, SUNY ESF

Instructor: Kimberly L. Schulz

Office Hours: Mondays 4:00-5:00 PM; Friday 9:30-10:30 AM, or by appointment

Contact Information:

            Phone: 470-6808 (office); x-4753 (lab)

            Room: 456 Illick

            Email: kschulz@syr.edu

            Website: http://www.esf.edu/efb/schulz

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<>Readings:

Your responsibilities for this class are:


Detailed Syllabus

Month

Date

Day

Topic

Morin

Reader

Due Date

Jan

19

W

Introduction

 

Syllabus

 

 

24

M

Discussion: What is community ecology and how do we do it?

 

Hairston
Gotelli & Graves

 

 

26

W

Historical context/defining communities

1


 

 

31

M

Discussion: Competition I

 

Hardin 1960
Schoener 1974
Bengtsson et al. 1995

 

Feb

2

W

Competition: models/theories

2

 

 

 

7

M

Discussion: Competition II

 

Emery 2001
Interlandi & Kilham 2001

 

 

9

W

Competition: experiments

3

 

 

 

14

M

Discussion: Predation I

 

HSS
Chase et al. 2002

 

 

16

W

Predation: models/theories

5

 

 

 

21

M

Guest Lecture

 

 

 

 

23

W

Guest Lecture

 

 

 

 

28

M

Discussion: Predation II

 

Lubchenko 1978
Vucetich et al. 2002

 

Mar

2

W

Predation: experiments

4

 

 

 

7

M

Discussion: Food webs

 

Pimm et al. 1991
Williams & Martinez 2004

Take Home 1

 

9

W

Food webs

6

 

 

 

14/16

M/W

SPRING BREAK

 

 

 

Mar

21

M

Discussion: Indirect effects

 

Currie et al. 1999
Shurin et al. 2002

 

 

23

W

<>Mutualisms/Indirect effects

7,8

 

 

 

28

M

Discussion: Assembly rules

 

Connor & Simberloff 1979
Drake 1990
Gotelli & McCabe 2002

 

 

30

W

Assembly Rules 1

9

 

 

Apr

4

M

Practical In-Class Exercise

 

 

 

 

6

W

Assembly rules/spatial dimension

10,11


 

 

11

M

Discussion: Succession

 

Walker & Chapin 1987
Pickett & McDonnell 1989
Bishop 2002

 

 

13

W

Succession/temporal dimension

13

 

 

 

18

M

Discussion: Diversity

 

May 1972
Tilman 1996

 

 

20

W

Causes and consequences of diversity

12

 

 

 

25

M

Presentations

 

 

Presentation

 

27

W

Conservation/Applied issues

14


 

May

2

M

Discussion: Conservation/applied community ecology; wrap up

 

Crowder et al. 1996

Stachowicz et al. 2002
Mills & Semlitsch 2004

Take Home 2

 May 9                                                                                                  Application Paper


Full Reference List
 Additional Useful Readings

Grades will be based on:

 

            Class participation and attendance                                 10

            Leading discussion                                                        10

            Take Home 1                                                               25

            Take Home 2                                                               25

            Short presentation of application                                   5

            Application Paper                                                         25

Late Policy: If you find that you have several assignments or outside obligations due on the same day, see me before the assignment is due, and we can work out a reasonable extension. If you don’t contact me before the assignment is due, I will generally accept late assignments, but at a late penalty of 10% per day. So, obviously, if you anticipate difficulty with completing an assignment, you should contact me early!

Honor Code ESF and SU students are bound by an academic honor code that details rights and responsibilities for study. You should be aware that this code provides serious sanctions for academic dishonesty (including but not limited to plagiarism and cheating). I expect that you will follow the honor code. Any violation of the honor code will result in failing the assignment and/or failing the course. If you have any questions about the ESF honor code or about what constitutes plagiarism or cheating, please either check the ESF website or come speak with me.

Class Absence If you encounter a situation beyond your control during which you will be missing several classes, you can contact the Office of Student Life (110 Bray, (315) 470-6660, FAX: (315) 470-4728), and they will contact all your instructors for you.  Supportive documentation may be required.

<>Accommodations for Students with Disabilities If you have an identified disability and will need accommodations, you should first contact Mr. Slocum in the Office of Student Life in 110 Bray Hall.  He will discuss the ESF process and work with you to access supportive services.  If you have a learning disability, the College will require you to provide supportive documentation and will develop an approved accommodation sheet for you.  Accommodations cannot be provided until the accommodation sheet is established and we have met to discuss its applicability to this course.  Accommodations cannot be provided retroactively.  If you have any questions about class absences or disabilities, please contact me and/or Mr. Slocum as soon as possible.  All conversations will be strictly confidential.
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