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Vegetation Ecology (VegEcol)


EEB 5085, semester 112-1, in English

Instructor: David Zelený (澤大衛)

When & Where: Wednesday 14:20-16:20, R1217 (Life Science Building)

Link to NTU COOL:

About the class

The course introduces the main concepts in vegetation ecology. We will focus on different aspects of plant ecology at the community level, including topics like a vegetation-environment relationship, vegetation dynamics, plant invasions, diversity patterns, plant traits, vegetation classification, biomes of the World etc.

The course is focused on senior undergraduate and graduate students who want to gain theoretical knowledge about vegetation ecology. Additionally to theoretical lectures, I will also encourage students to deepen their views and interest by reading suggested papers, as well as moderating discussions on potentially interesting or controversial topics related to vegetation ecology. To conclude the class, each student needs to write and present an essay on a selected topic and pass an oral examination.

Overview of teaching schedule

(16 x 2 hours per week)

  • Introduction
  • Sampling vegetation
  • Vegetation and environment
  • Diversity patterns in vegetation
  • Plant traits at a community level
  • Plant invasions and invasibility of plant communities
  • Vegetation classification and maps
  • Effect of climate change on vegetation
  • Vegetation of Taiwan
  • Biomes of the World
  • Two discussion classes (presentation and discussion of assigned papers)
  • Final presentations (last two classes)

Class activity: assigned readings and discussion

Activity in the class will be based on reporting and discussion of assigned readings. There will be several (~6) assigned readings, each more or less related to the individual topic of the class. All students need to read the paper and write a very brief “paper summary” into a Word file uploaded to CEIBA the day before the next class begins. We will spend one or two whole classes by group discussions when each group presents one of the papers (short 5-10 minutes report, NOT longer), followed by a brief discussion.

Check instructions for assigned readings and discussion to know how to do that (there is also a Word file template, in which you will fill your paper summary).


Part of the final evaluation will be a written essay on a selected topic (in English) and its presentation in the class. The final evaluation will be based on activity in the class, a written essay and its presentation, and a final oral exam.

Class activity (assigned readings and discussion in the class) 30% (60 points for assigned reading, 40 points for group discussion)
Final essay 40% (essay + presentation)
Final examination (oral, exam week) 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: 2023/08/25 11:21 by david