PSC202 Crop And Pasture Science (8)

This subject presents the basic physiology and ecology of plant-based production systems and develop skills in plant taxonomy relevant to agricultural production systems of southern Australia. The subject matter will deal with the science of plant production systems. In particular physiological topics such as water use, nutrition, photosynthesis, respiration, development, partitioning and yield formation will be examined at the single plant and crop/pasture levels. Likewise, those aspects of plant community ecology that are relevant to crops or pastures will also be covered. These include: competition, life-history, population dynamics and biodiversity.


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

Session 1 (30)
Online *
Wagga Wagga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: PSC202. 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


PSC102 or BIO126 or PSC103 or AGR130

Incompatible Subjects


Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of the basic physiology and ecology of agricultural plant production systems;
  • be able to recognise all the major families of flowering plants utilised in agricultural and pastoral production in southern Australia; and
  • be able to key out plants that they cannot readily recognise.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Climate and plant distribution;
  • Germination and early growth;
  • Leaf development at individual and plant canopy levels;
  • Phenological development of crop and pasture species;
  • Physiology of canopies: carbon exchange, water relations and nutrient acquisition;
  • Partitioning of dry matter;
  • Plant responses to grazing and defoliation;
  • Yield and its components;
  • Seed physiology, storage, dormancy, hardseededness etc;
  • Plant life history: plant strategies in pastures;
  • Plant competition in crop canopies and pasture swards;
  • Plant population biology;
  • Biodiversity and function;
  • Landscape and Vegetation associations; and
  • Pasture and crop plant taxonomy.

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of PSC202 in Session 1 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Vernalisation experiment
Photosynthesis: from leaf to canopy
Mid session exam
Investigating canopy transpiration
Final exam

Residential School

This subject contains a 4 day Compulsory Residential School.

To provide a hands on approach to theory taught in the subject. Students attending the residential school will complete the practical exercises in plant taxonomy.

Special Resources

Students attending compulsory residential schools on Charles Sturt campuses will incur costs associated with travel, accommodation and required resources.

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.