BIO262 Vegetation Ecology (8)


This subject provides a comprehensive grounding in major concepts in vegetation ecology. Topics include the factors that influence plant populations, plant population biology and demography, the diverse nature of species interactions, the nature of vegetation communities, and how vegetation communities are described, surveyed and classified. Short-term and long-term changes in ecosystem properties are also discussed, and key concepts in ecosystem dynamics and disturbance ecology are presented. This subject provides practical experience through a field trip in field survey techniques, report writing, delivering spoken presentations and analysing ecological data using computer programs.  On completing students will be able to describe, manage and conserve plant species in natural and disturbed ecosystems.

+ Subject Availability Modes and Location

Session 2
InternalAlbury-Wodonga Campus
Distance*Albury-Wodonga Campus
*This subject offering contains a residential school. Please view following information for further details.
Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: BIO262
Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject information

Duration Grading System School:
One sessionHD/FLSchool of Environmental Sciences

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • have a comprehensive understanding of the key terminology, principles, concepts and theory underpinning vegetation ecology
  • have a broad and coherent understanding of the characteristic features of major Australian ecosystems, including their distribution, structure, and general composition
  • have a critical understanding of the available tools and techniques used to identify plants in terrestrial communtities
  • have specialised skills in the design and implementation of vegetation surveys
  • be able to apply their knowledge and skills to describe the dynamics of plant communities including responses to disturbance
  • have the ability to interpret and communicate the findings of a vegetation survey clearly and coherently within a management context


The subject will cover the following topics:
  1. Environmental influences on plant distributions
  2. Introduction to population ecology and demography
  3. Plant life history strategies
  4. Species interactions and competition
  5. Features of major Australian ecosystems
  6. Designing vegetation surveys
  7. History of community ecology
  8. Vegetation communities and boundaries
  9. Vegetation classification and ordination
  10. Disturbance ecology: succession and patch dynamics
  11. State and transition models
  12. Regeneration ecology

Residential School

This subject contains a compulsory 3 day residential school. This subject provides a comprehensive grounding in major concepts in vegetation ecology. A critical part of this is developing skills in how plants and vegetation communities are described, surveyed and classified. The residential school provides students with opportunity to obtain the important field survey techniques  and analytical skills that are needed in order to do this. It also provides experience in working as a team and collaborating in professional activities which is often critical for field surveys in environmental science.  


The information contained in the 2016 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: 06 September 2016. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.