AGS202 Applied Ecology (8)

This subject explores a range of issues central to the management and conservation of the biological environment. In particular, it seeks to provide an understanding of the functioning of ecosystems and an appreciation of the various impacts of human activity upon natural systems. Topics covered include environmental systems and models, terrestrial and aquatic ecology at the population, community and ecosystem levels. The subject covers a range of environmental and ethical issues such as endangered species conservation, kangaroo management, and the long and short term ecological impacts arising from unsustainable agricultural and other land-use practices and developments. Students are encouraged to approach each topic in an integrative way, bringing together relevant ecological theory, practical application and environmental ethics.

Subject Outlines
Current CSU students can view Subject Outlines for recent sessions. Please note that Subject Outlines and assessment tasks are updated each session.


* Offering has a residential school. Please view following information for further details.

Session 1 (30)
Online *
Orange Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: AGS202. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Agricultural and Wine Sciences

Incompatible Subjects


Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • Be able to use systems terminology to describe and discuss the biophysical environment
  • Be able to describe and illustrate the major components of and interactions within the biophysical environment in terms of a systems model
  • Be able to demonstrate and understanding of the general nature and behaviour of biophysical systems in an agricultural or other land management context
  • Be able to demonstrate an understanding of population ecology through the construction of a population dynamics model of a selected species or community
  • Be able to recognise various types of impacts on the biological environment, including aquatic ecosystems, and interpret these impacts in terms of ecological principles and concepts
  • Be able to identify and explain different types of environmental impacts due to changes in land use through history, such as altered fire regimes and clearing for agriculture
  • Be able to make a contribution to debates on issues concerning environmental ethics.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • - Ecological scales and complexity
  • - The major changes in Australian flora and fauna over time, with emphasis on the period since European settlement
  • - An introduction to 'hard' systems terminology and concepts
  • - The major energy and matter cycles and pathways
  • - The concept of ecological modelling
  • - Interactions between plants and animals and their environment: terrestrial and aquatic
  • - Environmental ethics, with a focus on endangered species
  • - Population ecology and wildlife management
  • - Habitats and habitat fragmentation
  • - Flora and fauna management in agricultural and other modified landscapes
  • - Impacts on the biological environment from agriculture and other human land uses such as forestry and mining
  • - Procedures for investigating the environmental history of an area.

Residential School

This subject contains a 3 day Compulsory Residential School.Explanation of the purpose and scope of the subject Explanation of topics and analysing contemporary issues Field visits Discussion of assessment tasks Invited lecturers


Current Students

For any enquiries about subject selection or course structure please contact Student Central or or phone on 1800 275 278.

Prospective Students

For further information about Charles Sturt University, or this course offering, please contact info.csu on 1800 275 278 (free call within Australia) or enquire online.

The information contained in the 2018 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: August 2018. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.