NRE 476 - Ecosystem Ecology
Winter 2010, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is (see other Sections below)
Subject: Natural Resources and Environment (NRE)
Department: SNE School of Natural Resources and Environment
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Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
Advisory Prerequisites:
General Ecology and a 400-level course in Aquatic or Terrestrial Ecology.
Other Course Info:
This course counts toward the 60 credits of math/science required for a Bachelor of Science degree.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:


Ecosystem Ecology is a lecture/discussion course that focuses on understanding the physical, chemical, and biological processes regulating the dynamics of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. We discuss classic and current topics in ecology that have built our understanding of ecosystem organization and function. The course integrates across disciplines of physiological, microbial, population, and community ecology to understand how and why ecosystems differ in composition, structure, and function, and how ecosystems change over time. Students are expected to have a solid background in biology and ecology. We also expect that students will be able to use general principles of mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology as tools to understand ecological processes occurring at the ecosystem level.

The scope of the course includes examples from terrestrial, marine, and freshwater ecosystems. Selected topics for discussion include:

  • "What are ecosystems and why are they so complex?"
  • "The principles of biogeochemistry — nutrient cycling, mass balance, and microbial function."
  • "Global ecology — are processes in ecosystems additive across a range of spatial scales?"
  • "The use of chemical tracers of energy flow through organisms and their environment."
  • "Do species matter for ecosystem function?"

There are three lecture periods each week involving lecture presentations by the instructor followed by class discussion; the discussions will be based on reading of primary literature papers (from a coursepack) and from the required textbook. The text is available at many book stores around the University, but the coursepack can only be found at Excel Coursepacks and Copies, 1117 S. University, Ann Arbor (996-1500).

Prerequisites include a course in general ecology and one 300/400-level course in aquatic or terrestrial ecology or permission of the instructors. Ecosystem Ecology is appropriate for advanced undergraduate and graduate students, and fills concentration requirements in the area of Ecology and Evolution (Group II for the Biology concentration).


NRE 476 - Ecosystem Ecology
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 In Person
MWF 11:00AM - 12:00PM

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