About this course
The course focuses on biological interactions between invertebrates (arthropods, nematodes), micro-organisms and plants, and between beneficial organisms and pathogens and their hosts in natural and agro-ecosystems. The major themes covered in the lectures include biodiversity, interaction and communication between organisms, including different trophic levels, fundamental mechanisms underlying bio-interactions, and ecosystem services. We concentrate on intra- and interspecific interactions and application of this knowledge to explore, monitor and evaluate (agro-)ecosystem management strategies using biodiversity principles, often referred to as functional biodiversity.
After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- understand interactions between individual organisms, and their consequences for populations, communities and ecosystems;
- understand the role of biodiversity in provision of ecosystem services;
- explore, develop and evaluate management strategies and practices that enable and ensure the sustainable use of natural resources and conservation of biodiversity;
- manage the interactions between crops, (parasitic) weeds, insects, bacteria, fungi, viruses and nematodes at different trophic levels;
- strengthen the inherent quality of agro-ecosystems in preventing pest and disease development with a socio-economic context;
- carry out a research project: formulate research questions and a project proposal, design an experiment, carry out experimental work, collect and record data, analyse results, write a scientific publication and present the results in a mini-symposium.
ZSS06100 Laboratory Safety
Basic knowledge on biology and ecology is assumed