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2003 Spring North Slope snow trip, Deadhorse grid, Biocomplexity project; Skip Walker and Yuri Shur.
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BIOL 474, Plant Ecology (4 credits)

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File Size
Date Topics/Activities Readings
Lesson 1
pdf icon854 kb
20 Jan Course overview, Introduction BBPGS, Chap 1, pp. 1-12
Lesson 2
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23 Jan A brief history of plant ecology BBPGS, Chap 2, pp. 13-30
Lesson 3
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25 Jan The species in the environmental complex BBPGS, Chap 3, pp. 31- 56
Lab 1
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25 Jan UAF Museum Herbarium: Overview of plant morphology and dichotomous keys. Plant identification, trees (6 species) and tall shrubs (4 species). Review required plant species: Trees and Tall Shrubs Read Family characteristics for Betulaceae, Salicaceae, Pinaceae, and review photos and descriptions for species within with the trees and tall shrubs list.
Lesson 4 27 Jan Review and journal papers Cowles, H.C. 1899. The ecological relations of vegetation on the sand dunes of Lake Michigan. Botanical Gazette. Vol. 27 (excerpts: pp. 95-97, 106-112, 194-198, 374-379, 382-388) .
Excerpts as PDF documents [PDF-1502,090 kb] [PDF-6004,450 kb] Billings, W. D., 1952. The environmental complex in relation to plant growth and distribution. Quarterly Review of Biology, 27(3):251-265.
Lesson 5
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30 Jan Population structure and plant demography BBPGS, Chap 4, pp. 57-87 Supplemental reading: Olson, M.S. and McCauley, D.E. 2002 (pdf icon2,798 kb). Mitochondrial DNA diversity, population structure, and gender association in the gynodioecious plant silene vulgaris. Evolution, 56(2):253-262. Giles, B.E. and Goudet, J. 1997 (pdf icon2,347 kb). Genetic differentiation in Silene dioica metapopulations: Estimation of spatiotemporal effects in a successional plant species. American Naturalist, 149(3):507-526.
Lesson 6
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01 Feb Allocation and life history patterns BBPGS, Chap 5, pp. 88-118
Lab 2
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01 Feb
Plant identification:
Low Shrubs (12 species)
Review required plant species: Low Shrubs Read Family characteristics for Betulaceae, Salicaceae, Caprifoliaceae, Elaeagnaceae, Myricaceae, Rosaceae and review photos and descriptions for species within the low shrub list.
Lesson 7 3 Feb Review and journal papers Mooney, H. A. and Billings, W. D., 1961: Comparative physiological ecology of arctic and alpine populations of Oxyria digyna. Ecological Monographs, 31:1-29. McGraw, J. B., 1985: Experimental ecology of Dryas octopetala ecotypes. III. Environmental factors and plant growth. Arctic and Alpine Research, 17(3):229-239.
Lesson 8
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6 Feb Species interactions: Competition and amensalism BBPGS, Chap 6, pp. 118-148
Lesson 9
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8 Feb Species interactions: Commensalism, mutualism, and herbivory BBPGS, Chap 7, pp. 149-178
Lab 3
pdf icon 3,507 kb2006-Feb-06
8 Feb
Plant identification:
Dwarf Shrubs (24 species)
Review required plant species: Erect Dwarf Shrubs and Prostrate Dwarf Shrubs Read Family characteristics for Betulaceae, Cornaceae, Cupressaceae, Ericaceae, Rosaceae, Caprifoliaceae, Diapensiaceae, Pyrolaceae, Salicaeae and review photos and descriptions for species within the erect dwarf shrub and prostrate dwarf shrub lists.
Lesson 10 10 Feb Review and journal papers Tilman, D. 1985 (pdf icon872 kb). The resource-ratio hypothesis. The American Naturalist, 125: 827-852. Grime, J.P. 1977 (pdf icon831 kb). Evidence for the existence of three primary strategies in plants and its relevance to ecological and evolutionary theory. The American Naturalist, 111: 1169-1194.
Lesson 11 13 Feb FIRST EXAM
Lesson 12
pdf icon3,165 kb
15 Feb Community concepts and attributes BBPGS, Chap 8, pp. 179-209
Lab 4
15 Feb Snow Ecology Field trip Walker, D. A., W. D. Billings, and J. G. d. Molenaar. 2001 (pdf icon2,220 kb). Snow-vegetation interactions in tundra environments. in H. G. Jones, R. W. Hoham, J. W. Pomeroy, and D. A. Walker, editors. Snow Ecology. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. Snow Temperature data summary (pdf icon1,624 kb, Updated: 2006-Mar-08). Snow Temperature Raw Data (pdf icon350 kb, Updated: 2006-Mar-08).
Lesson 13 17 Feb Methods of sampling the plant community I BBPGS, Chap 9, pp. 210-239
Lesson 14
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20 Feb Methods of sampling the plant community II BBPGS, Chap 9, pp. 210-239
Lesson 15
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22 Feb Classification of plant communities BBPGS, Chap 10, p. 240-257
Lab 5 22 Feb Lab Exam 1 - You will be allowed to use any of the unmarked keys in the lab (Hulten, Viereck and Little, or Collet)
Lesson 16
24 Feb Review and Journal papers Gleason, H.A. 1926. The individualistic concept of the plant association. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club, 53:7-26. Clements, F.E. 1936. Nature and structure of the climax. Journal of Ecology, 24: 253-284.
Cramer, W.P. and Leemans, R. 1993 (pdf icon 7,085 kb). Assessing impacts of climate change on vegetation using climate classification systems. pp. 190-217. Grabherr, G. and Kojima, S. 1993 (pdf icon 3,366 kb). Vegetation diversity and classification systems. pp.218-232. Grime, J.P. 1993 (pdf icon 2,791 kb). Vegetation functional classification systems as approaches to predicting and quantifying global vegetation change. pp. 293-305. in Vegetation Dynamics and Global Change. 1993. Editors: Allen Solomon and Herman Shugart. New York. Chapman and Hall.
Lesson 17
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27 Feb Ordination of Vegetation I. Direct gradient analysis BBPGS, Chap. 10, pp. 257-267
Lesson 18
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1 Mar Ordination of Vegetation II. Indirect gradient analysis BBPGS, Chap. 10, pp. 257-267
Lab 6
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01 Mar
Plant identification:
s (25 species): Campanulaceae, Caryophyllaceae, Compositae (Asteraceae), Cruciferae (Brassicaceae),  Eleagnaceae, Haloragaceae.
Read Family characteristics for Campanulaceae through Halograceae and review photos and descriptions for the listed species within the forb group.
Lesson 19 3 Mar Indirect Grad analysis, I button data Snow Temperature: data summary (pdf icon1,624 kb, Updated: 2006-Mar-08). Snow Temperature: i-Button Raw Data as Microsoft Excel worksheet (excel icon350 kb, Updated: 2006-Mar-08).
Lesson 20
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06 Mar Succession BBPGS, Chap 11, 268-302
Lesson 21
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08 Mar
Zonobiomes and Ecological Climate Diagrams
Walter, H. 1979. Vegetation of the the Earth and Ecological Systems of the Geo-Biosphere. New York: Springer. Chapter II, General Section, pp. 22-41.
Lab 7
pdf icon3,240 kb
8 Mar
Plant identification
Forbs (24 species): Leguminosae (Fabaceae), Liliaceae, Onagraceae, Orobanchaceae, Papaveraceae, Polygonaceae, Ranunculaceae, Rosaceae.
Read Family characteristics for Fabaceae through Rosaceae and review photos and descriptions for the listed species within the forb group.
Lesson 22
10 Mar
Review and Journal papers.   Second Exam emailed to students by 5 pm (DUE WED 22 MAR at 9 am.)
Bray, J.R. and J.T. Curtis. 1957. An ordination of the upland forest communities of southern Wisconsin. Ecological Monographs. 27:325-349. Mike
Whittaker, R. H. and Neiring, W. A., 1968: Vegetation of the Santa Catalina Mountains, Arizona. IV. Limestone and acid soils. Journal of Ecology, 56(2):523-544.
Lesson 23 20 Mar No Class Lecture Exam 2 due 22 Mar 9 am.
Lesson 24
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22 Mar Light and Temperature BBPGS, Chap 14, 375-410
Lab 8
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22 Mar
Plant identification:
Forbs (12 species): Rubiaceae, Sanatalaceae, Saxifragaceae, Umbelliferae (Apiaceae).
Read Family characteristics for Rubiaceae through Apiaceae and review photos and descriptions for the required forb species.
Lesson 25 24 Mar Review and Journal papers Van Cleve, K., and L. A. Viereck. 1981. Forest succession in relation to nutrient cycling in the boreal forest of Alaska. Pages 185-211 in D. C. West, H. H. Shugart, and D. B. Botkin, editors. Forest succession, concepts and application. Springer-Verlag, New York. Walker, L.R., J.C. Zasada, and F.S. Chapin, III. 1986. The role of life history processes in primary succession on an Alaskan floodplain. Ecology 67:1243-1253.
Lesson 26
pdf icon12,781 kb
27 Mar
Photosynthesis: Fleur Nicklen Skip Walker at NSF SASS meeting
BBPGS, Chap 15, pp. 411-440 BBPGS, Chap 12, pp. 303-333
Lesson 27
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29 Mar Production BBPGS, Chap 12, pp. 303-333
Lab 9 29 Mar  Lab Exam 2 (61 species)
Lesson 28 31 Mar Review and Journal papers Van Cleve, K., F.S. Chapin, III, C.T. Dyrness, and L.A. Viereck. 1991. Element cycling in taiga forests: State factor control. BioScience, 41(2):78-88. Chapin, F. S., III, D. A. Johnson, et al. (1980). "Seasonal movement of nutrients in plants of differing growth form in an Alaskan tundra ecosystem: implications for herbivory." Journal of Ecology 68(1):189-209.
Lesson 29
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03 Apr Arctic NDVI Goetz, S.J., Bunn, A.G., Fiske, G.J., and Houghtohn, R.A. 2005(pdf icon 494 kb). Satellite-observed photosynthetic trends across boreal North America associated with climate and fire disturbance. Proceeding of the National Academy of Science, 13521-13525. Jia, G. J., H. E. Epstein, and D. A. Walker. 2003.(pdf icon 210 kb), Greening of arctic Alaska, 1981-2001, Geophys. Res. Lett., 30(20), 2067, doi:10.1029/2003GL018268.
Lesson 30
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5 Apr Soil BBPGS, Chap. 17, pp. 473-500.
Lab 10
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5 Apr
Plant identification:
Grasses (11 species): Graminae (Poaceae); Sedges (11 species): Cyperaceae; Rushes (5 spp.): Juncaceae.
Read Family characteristics for Poaceae, Cyperaceae and Juncaceae and review photos and descriptions for the required Grass, Sedge and Rush species.
Lesson 31
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7 Apr Discussion of final presentations  
Lesson 32
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10 Apr Mineral cycling BBPGS, Chap 13, pp. 334-373
Lesson 33
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12 Apr Plant water dynamics BBPGS, Chap 18, pp. 501-532
Lab 11
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12 Apr
Plant identification:
Club mosses (4 species): Sellaginellaceae and Lycopodiaceae;  Horsetails (4 species): Equisetaceae; Ferns (2 species): Athyriaceae and Aspidiaceae.
Review photos and descriptions for the required club moss, horsetail and fern species.
Lesson 34
pdf icon10,061 kb
14 Apr
Arctic Tundra   LECTURE EXAM 3
emailed by 5 pm Due 18 Apr 9 am
Walker, D.A., Bockheim, J.G., Chapin, F.S. III, Eugster, W., Nelson, F.E. and Ping, C.L. 2001(pdf icon 1,273 kb). Calcium-rich tundra, wildlife, and the "Mammoth Steppe". Quaternary Science Reviews. 20:149-163. Bliss, L.C. 1988. Arctic tundra and polar biome. Pp. 1-32 in Barbour, M.G.. and Billings, W.D. (eds.) North American Vegetation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Lesson 35 17 Apr No Class - Exam #3 due 18 Apr (Tomorrow) by 9 am
Lesson 36 19 Apr
Student Presentations:
(1) Ken: Beringian Steppe Tundra
(2) Scott: Boreal peatlands
Students assign readings
Lab 12
pdf icon2,366 kb
19 Apr
Plant identifications:
Mosses (14 species): Amblystegiaceae, Aulacomniaceae, Brachytheciaceae, Dicraneaceae, Entodontaceae, Polytrichaceae, Rhytidiaceae, Sphagnaceae, Splachnaceae
Liverworts (2 species), Ptilidiaceae, Marchantiacea.
Review photos and descriptions for the required Bryophyte species.
Lesson 37
21 Apr
Student Presentations:
(3) Dana: North American boreal forest
(4) Masa: Asian boreal forest
Students assign readings
Lesson 38
24 Apr
Student Presentations:
(5) Mark: Southern boreal forest
(6) Mike: Cretaceous Alaska
Students assign readings
Lesson 39
26 Apr
Student Presentations:
(7) Amy: Temperate evergreen forests
(8) Andrew: Temperate grasslands
Students assign readings.
Lab 13
pdf icon4,209 kb
26 Apr
Plant identification:
Lichens (22 species): In the Families Lecanoraceae, Lecideaceae, Nephromataceae, Peltigeraceae, Umbilicariaceae, Cladoniaceae, Parmeliaceae, Pertusariaceae, Sphaerophoraceae, Usneaceae.
Review photos and descriptions for the required Lichen species.
Lesson 40 28 Apr
Student Presentations:
(9) Blaine: Steppes
(10) Zachery: Paramo
Students assign readings,
  01 May NO CLASS UAF Springfest
Lesson 41 03 May
Student presentations:
(11) Emily: Chaparral
(12) Regina: Sonoran desert
Students assign readings
Lab 14 3 May Lab Exam 3 (76 species)
Lesson 42 05 May
Student presentations:
(13) Molly: Tropical desert
(14) Kuba: Tropical rainforests
Students assign readings.