PLHRT 4730 - Ecology of Agricultural Systems(crosslisted) ENTOM 4730
Fall. 3 credits. Letter grades only.
Prerequisite: BIOEE 1610 . Permission of instructor required for students who do not meet prerequisite. During first six weeks of class, Thursday meetings may run as late as 5:30 p.m. because of field trips.
L. Drinkwater, K. Poveda.
Analysis of the ecological processes operating in agricultural systems, with an emphasis on understanding relationships between agroecosystem structure and function and interactions among organisms. Examines agroecological theory and research through readings and discussions. The first part of this course emphasizes understanding biogeochemical processes, population and community ecology with emphasis on plant-herbivore and plant-microbial interactions, and evolutionary processes in agroecosystems. The latter part focuses on the application of ecological knowledge to the design and management of multifunctional agroecosystems and comparative analysis of frameworks used to assess sustainability. Field trips to local farms and case studies from both the tropics and the temperate zone are used to illustrate important concepts.
Outcome 1: Through field trips, problem-solving, case studies and other active learning approaches, this class will provide students with opportunities to apply ecological concepts to agricultural systems.
Outcome 2: We will develop a working knowledge of agroecology including population, community, evolutionary and ecosystem principles and processes as well as more recent concepts about interactions across social and ecological systems.
Outcome 3: We will learn about the history of agricultural intensification and the diverse approaches to meeting the challenge of achieving sustainability.
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