GEOG 445/545 Course Syllabus

Instructor: Dr. Francis L. Precht
Office: 302 Dunkle Hall Hours: TBA
Phone: 689-4440 (office) 689-4369 (main Geography office)
Text : Biogeography, An Ecological and Evolutionary Approach. Cox and Moore. 1993.

In addition to the text, other pertinent books or articles may be on reserve in the Library or handed out as copies by the instructor from which additional readings may be derived.

Course Description : Patterns of plant and animal distributions in the landscape are stressed and are considered in light of historical, environmental and biotic influences. Historical development of contemporary regional distributions, survey of world biomes and the importance of disturbance and human-induced changes on biotic distributions are considered.

Term Paper/Project : All students will be expected to write a term paper or develop and conduct a field project for the course. Topics MUST be approved by the instructor NO LATER THAN MIDTERM. The student must submit a short description of the paper topic or field project in writing to the instructor for approval. Final papers or project analysis reports are due ON THE LAST DAY OF CLASS.

Graduate Students : All students enrolled in the class for graduate credit will also be expected to read and critique several journal articles or book chapters on particular topics to amplify material discussed in class. These readings will be assigned in class by the instructor at the appropriate time in the semester. Topics to be included may include convergent evolution, island biogeography, vegetation/environment relations, animal/environment relations, disturbance, models of succession and human induced vegetation change.

Graduate students will also have additional questions on all exams. These questions will require the student to comprehend lecture material and additional readings at a higher and more advanced level.

undergraduate graduate
test 1 20% test 1 15%
test 2 20% test 2 15%
final exam 35% final exam 35%
term paper 25% term paper 25%
critiques 10%

Geography 445/545 Biogeography Topical Outline

General Background
History and Principles of Biogeography
Importance of Natural Selection and Evolution to Biogeography

Modern Distributions
Life Forms and Growth Forms
Range, Habitat and Niche

Historical Biogeography
Innate Factors: Population Growth, Age Structures and Survivorship
Seeds and Offspring: Dispersal, Viability, Crop/Litter Size and Predation
Allopatric Speciation and Adaptive Radiation
Sympatric Speciation
Migration: Routes, Barriers and Timing
Convergent Evolution
Phyto- and Zoogeographic Realms
Development of Regional Floras: Geology and Plate Tectonics, Glaciations and Refugia
Island Biogeography

Ecological Biogeography
Interactions Among Organisms: Food, Energy and Biomass Pyramids; Competition
Vegetation/Environment Relations: Light, Temperature, Soil Nutrients and Water
Animal/Environment Relations: Resource Partitioning, Vegetation Structure, Home Range and Habitat Studies
Vegetation Dynamics: Plant Strategies, Succession and Climax and Diversity

Survey of World Biomes

Human/Biota Interactions
Human Induced Vegetation Change

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Last Updated: Wednesday, February 21, 1996