- Department: Environment and Geography
- Module co-ordinator: Dr. Tabitha Kabora
- Credit value: 20 credits
- Credit level: I
- Academic year of delivery: 2024-25
- See module specification for other years: 2023-24
Ecosystems are vital to human existence and are a key part of the Earth’s natural capital. Our ecosystems on land and sea underpin economic productivity and social wellbeing, providing important ecosystem services and benefits. In recent decades, human influence has expanded to the remotest regions of the planet, to the poles and highest mountains, and to the most remote oceans and the bottom of the deepest abyss. This module will build on knowledge and practical experience gained in first-year modules and integrate an understanding of the physical, ecological, historical, social and economic factors that underpin the use, management and conservation of terrestrial and marine ecosystems. There will be particular focus on how terrestrial and marine ecosystems have responded to human pressures and environmental change in time and space, and how such information can be used to develop management strategies for the future, in the light of increasing demands on resources and ongoing environmental change. Learning through practical experience is an important part of ecological and biogeographical studies, and the module includes a field visit, a practical on natural capital monitoring and assessment, and an analysis of underwater video footage from a marine protected area.
|Semester 2 2024-25
The module will provide scientific and policy understanding of the patterns of use and pressures facing terrestrial and marine ecosystems. It will bring together ecological, historical, social and economic factors to understand human impacts on these ecosystems to date, and our options for managing and conserving them for the future in the face of ongoing anthropogenic and environmental change.
The module provides understanding and hands-on experience of some key concepts, theories and practices of ecosystem management and conservation used in a wide range of sectors including:
Natural capital assessment
Land use planning
A field visit focusing on upland management challenges and a practical involving analysis and interpretation of underwater video footage from a marine protected area will provide hands-on experience of techniques used for assessing ecosystem health and service provision and the evaluation of management interventions.
The practical component of the course is based on problem-solving within groups, helping to develop a range of generic skills:
Group participation and management
Problem analysis and task prioritisation
Debate and discussion
On completion of this module a student will be able to:
|% of module mark
|Open Exam (1 day)
|% of module mark
|Open Exam (1 day)
Written feedback will be provided on assessment in accordance with the University’s Policy on Assessment Feedback Turnaround Time
Cuní-Sanchez A, Sullivan MJP, Platts PJ, Lewis SL, Marchant R, et al. (2021) High aboveground carbon stock of African tropical montane forests. Nature 596, 536-542. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-03728-4://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-03728-4
Cox, C. B. and Moore, P. D. 2010. Biogeography: An Ecological and Evolutionary Approach. John Wiley & Sons.
Dasgupta, P. 2021. The Economics of Biodiversity: The Dasgupta Review. Headline Messages. HM Treasury, London.
Guerry, A.D., Polasky, S., Lubchenco, J., et al. 2015. Natural capital and ecosystem services informing decisions: From promise to practice. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112(24), pp.7348-7355.
Huggett, R.J. 2007. Environmental Change: The evolving ecosphere. Routledge.
Kaiser M. et al (2020). Marine Ecology: Processes, Systems, and Impacts. OUP Oxford; 3rd edition, 608pp.
Marchant, R. 2021. East Africa’s Human Environment Interactions, Palgrave Macmillan