AGR304 Agricultural Ecology (8)


Agricultural Ecology considers agriculture and agricultural practice from an ecological point of view and ecological principles in the context of agriculture. The first two modules provide insights into the basic ecological principles and how agricultural systems work in accordance with them. The third module builds on the system-level interactions and identifies pathways towards sustainability in production systems. This subject focuses on the knowledge of how natural ecosystems work and on how that knowledge can be applied to agricultural ecosystems especially in achieving sustainability.
Distance Education students are required to attend a compulsory residential school as a requirement for this subject.

+ Subject Availability Modes and Location

Session 1
Online*Orange 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: AGR304
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 Agricultural and Wine Sciences

Assumed Knowledge

BIO140 and BIO271 and AGR271

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to accurately explain the concept of agroecosystems and the ecological principles on which natural and managed ecosystems are understood
  • be able to outline and examine key differences between natural ecosystem and a managed agroecosystem
  • be able to apply the theory and principles of agricultural ecology in a critical review of the management of a farm and predict the possible efficacy of the management plan
  • be able to identify and critically reflect on their own needs, biases and emerging position on appropriate directions for agriculture
  • be able to consolidate and synthesise information and justify arguments and ideas using relevant and creditable sources to create a coherent and professional report or discussion


The subject will cover the following topics:
- Characteristics of an agroecosystem
- Sustainability of an agroecosystem
- The interacting factors
- Nutrient cycles and agroecosystems
- Factors and processes of agroecosystems
- Regulatory mechanisms
- Ecology and sustainability of agroecosystems
- Management of arthropod pests, fungal and bacterial pathogens, and weeds in agroecosystems
- Succession
- Application of agroecological principles in achieving sustainability
- Design of sustainable agroecosystems

Residential School

This subject contains a compulsory 2 day residential school. The 2-day residential school for the subject AGR 304 Agricultural Ecology will explore the relevance and usefulness of ecological management of agriculture and attempts at training students to think of alternate, natural methods to manage agricultural problems. During the residential school, students will attend tutorials and practical sessions relevant to advanced ecological principles pertaining to agriculture, ecological management of agriculture and the practical design of an ecological management plan. Invited professionals will also provide a first-hand knowledge of practical case studies in ecological management of agriculture.

Specialised Resources

Students are required to attend the compulsory residential school which will involve travel expenses and a time commitment.


The information contained in the 2017 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: 25 August 2017. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.