Introduction: Organisms, Environment, Autotrophs and Heterotrophs, Autecology, Population and population dynamics, Population distribution and abundance, Distribution limits, patterns, population density, rarity and extinction, Population growth, stability, regulation of growth, population growth curves, mechanism of population balance, population decline, Interaction, competition, exploitation, predation, herbivory, parasitism and disease, mutualism. The environment: The physical environment (composition, geology and soil, topography, light and temperature, climate and weather, catastrophes), The biotic environment (intraspecific relationship, interspecific relationship), Biotic and Abiotic interactions. Habitat and niches: Trophic levels (autotrophs, photoautotrophs, chemoautotrophs, decomposers, herbivores, carnivores, omnivores), Food chains, Food webs, Pyramids of numbers and biomes. Energy transfer: Primary production, Energy flow. Nutrient cycling: Carbon cycle, Nitrogen cycle and Phosphorus cycle, Interactions between the nutrients cycles. Pyramid of energy. Communities and ecosystem, community concept, Community structure and kinds of communities, Community diversity, species abundance and diversity, environmental complexity, distribution and diversity. Global distribution, Patterns of diversity. Ecosystems: The use of ecosystem, Soils, Wetland and Aquatic ecosystems, Inter-relationships of ecosystems. Succession and stability (basic concepts). Biomes: Worlds terrestrial and aquatic biomes, Aquatic Ecosystem.
Course Learning Outcomes
This course aims to:
1. Provide a clear understanding and an up-to-date knowledge of basic concepts in ecology.
2. Outline the principles of ecology and its relevant applications.
3. Prepare the students to follow the sequence of ascending scale-beginning from individual organisms, proceeding through communities and ecosystem to global consideration of biogeography, correlation and conservation and to study the ecosystem of Pakistan and to identify its environmental issues.
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