Plant Ecology

Instructor

Curtis Clark: Contact
Office Hours: TTh 9:10–10:10 a.m., T 1:00–2:00 p.m.

Textbook

Gurevitch, J., S.M. Scheiner, and G.A. Fox. 2006. The Ecology of Plants. Second Edition. Sinauer Associates, Inc., Sunderland, MA.
This is an old enough book that you may be able to find inexpensive used copies online.

Syllabus

This is still a work in progress.

Catalog description

BOT 421/421L - Plant Ecology (3/1)

A survey of the interactions between plants and their physical and biotic environment. Examination of populations, communities, and ecosystems. The effects of climate, soil and other organisms on plant growth, development and reproduction.

Prerequisite(s): BIO 325/325L. [BOT 201/201L is highly recommended]

Nitrogen fixation lecture

Climatic data sites

Voorhis Ecological Reserve

Smart phone applications useful to ecologists

Although in many cases specialized equipment still has the edge, there are apps for smartphones that make an ecologist's life much easier. You are not required to either own a smartphone or use these apps for BOT421/L, but they'll save you a lot of time, especially with the field work. I have used all the listed Android apps but have no experience with the others.

Android

  • Evernote keeps field notes, georeferences them, attaches photos, and syncs to the Evernote server if you have a data connection, saving your info if your phone is lost or destroyed. It can sync multiple desktop computers and mobile devices. Free!
  • My Tracks keeps a running list of coordinates, which it translates into a path showing more or less where you've been. Handy for keeping a record of yoru field work, and you can create "waypoints" to record the location of specific sites (although you can't record notes the way you can with Evernote). My Tracks is free, and it has a simpler interface than ...
  • Trimble Outdoors Navigator also keeps track of where you go, plus it lets you take photos and record audio, which are also georeferenced. It lets you access USGS topo maps as well as several other map layers, and the paid version lets you download maps for use when you don't have a cell signal. It is much more complex to use than My Tracks
  • GPS Essentials is a whole toolbox to make full use of the GPS in your phone, including an accounting of available satellites, It includes maps and tracks, but they are not as robust as Trimble Outdoors Navigator or as easy to use as My Tracks. It also includes a compass and clinometer in a single screen, which makes it easy to get slope and exposure. Free.
  • There are many stand-alone compass apps; the only one that has an advantage over the built-in compass in Trimble Outdoors Navigator or GPS Essentials is Smart Compass, which superimposes your bearing on the view from the camera, so you can line up with distant objects. Unfortunately the free version only shows magnetic north, rather than correcting for true north, as many othe compass apps do. The same company makes Smart Protractor, which you can use to measure slope.
  • Biology Sample Collector combines features of Evernote and My Tracks, and may turn out to be very useful, but I haven't really used it.

iOS

  • Evernote keeps field notes, georeferences them, attaches photos, and syncs to the Evernote server if you have a data connection, saving your info if your phone is lost or destroyed. It can sync multiple desktop computers and mobile devices. Free!
  • Trimble Outdoors Navigator also keeps track of where you go, plus it lets you take photos and record audio, which are also georeferenced. It lets you access USGS topo maps as well as several other map layers, and the paid version lets you download maps for use when you don't have a cell signal.

Other useful web sites