Prerequisites BIOL102 Principles of Ecology and STAT205 Environmental Data Analysis Teaching Organisation 6 hours per week for twelve weeks or equivalent.
Animal ecology involves the scientific study of the factors influencing the distribution and abundance of animals at three levels of complexity: the individual organism and its interaction with its environment; the population (of individuals of the same species); and the community (consisting of numbers of populations). This unit will introduce students to ecological theory pertaining to animal communities and demonstrate its relevance in an Australian context. Students will gain specific knowledge of animal taxonomy, biotic (animal-animal and animal-plant) and abiotic interactions in a natural setting, and animal responses to human-induced disturbances (fire, pollution and mining). Temporal as well as spatial changes in animal communities will be emphasised.