BIO262 Vegetation Ecology (8)

This subject provides a comprehensive grounding in major concepts in vegetation ecology. Topics begin with a focus on the individual plant; including photosynthesis, methods of reproduction, biotic and abiotic interactions and plant population dynamics. Practical topics include an introduction to plant taxonomy, ecological fieldwork skills, report writing, and methods in analysing ecological data.  The subject introduces students to theory and concepts relating to plant communities, in particular, how they are surveyed, classified and described. The concepts of composition, structure and function pattern are woven into topics to develop understandings of the effects of natural and human disturbances. On completion, students will possess knowledge of the key ecological factors which influence Australian ecosystems, and skills essential in environmental and conservation management.


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

Session 2 (60)
On Campus
Albury-Wodonga Campus
Port Macquarie Campus
Online *
Albury-Wodonga Campus

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

Grading System



One session


School of Environmental Sciences

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to have a comprehensive understanding of the key terminology, principles, concepts and theory underpinning vegetation ecology
  • be able have developed a comprehensive understanding of the ecology of a selected Australian ecosystem, and be able to apply this knowledge to other ecosystem types;
  • be able to obtain knowledge and practical experience in in the design and implementation of vegetation surveys, and develop an understanding of the available tools and techniques used to identify plants in terrestrial communities;
  • be able to apply their knowledge and skills in vegetation ecology to describe the effects of disturbances on plant communities ;
  • be able to interpret and communicate the findings of a vegetation survey clearly and coherently within a management context


This 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 3 day Compulsory 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.



For further information about courses and subjects outlined in the CSU handbook please contact:

Current students

Future students

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2019. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.