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Vegetation Ecology


EEB 5085, semester 105-1, in English

Instructor: David Zelený (澤大衛)

When & Where: Wednesday 10:20-12:10, R1148 (Life Science Building)

Link to CEIBA:

About the class

The course is introducing main concepts in vegetation ecology. We will focus on different aspects of plant ecology at the community level, including topics like vegetation-environment relationship, vegetation dynamics, plant invasions, diversity patterns, plant traits, vegetation in the historical perspective, vegetation classification, biomes of the World, vegetation of Taiwan etc. We will discuss also more specific topics including vegetation and climate change or conservation, management and restoration.

The course is focused on senior undergraduate and graduate students, who want to gain theoretical knowledge about vegetation ecology, i.e. plant ecology at the community level. Additionally to theoretical lectures, I will also encourage students to deepen their view and interest by reading of suggested papers, as well as moderating discussions on potentially interesting or controversial topics related to vegetation ecology.

Overview of teaching schedule

(18 x 2 hours per week)


  • Introduction to vegetation ecology
  • Vegetation and environment
  • Diversity patterns and ecosystem functions
  • Species interactions in plant communities (competition, allelopathy, parasitism, facilitation, mutualisms)
  • Mechanisms of species coexistence in vegetation (assembly rules, niche- vs neutral, storage effect, priority effect)
  • Plant traits at community level
  • Vegetation dynamics (succession, disturbance)
  • Plant invasions and invasibility of plant communities
  • Vegetation classification and vegetation maps
  • Vegetation of the World
  • Vegetation of Taiwan in the context of East Asia
  • Vegetation and global change (effect of climate change, myths and facts)
  • Vegetation in the past (holocene and historical perspective)
  • Applications in vegetation ecology: management, conservation and restoration
  • 2 x group discussion class (based on reading required papers)
  • midterm quiz
  • final exam (oral)


Part of the final evaluation will be written essay on selected topic (in English). Final evaluation will be based on final test, midterm quiz, written essay and activity in the class, mostly joining group discussion.

Midterm quiz 15%
Class activity 20%
Essay 35%
Final examination 30%


  • van der Maarel E. & Franklin J. (2012): Vegetation Ecology. 2nd edition. Willey-Blackwell NTU online source
  • Mittelbach G.G. (2012): Community Ecology. Sinauer Associates.
  • Mueller-Dombois D. & Ellenberg H. (1974): Aims and Methods of Vegetation Ecology. John Wiley & Sons.
  • Archibold O.W. (1995): Ecology of World Vegetation. Chapman & Hall.


vegecol/start.txt · Last modified: 2017/06/17 06:23 by david