Alpine Ecology 4501

Course Objectives

The aim of this course is to provide the students with insight into environmental conditions of Scandinavian mountain areas. This includes abiotic factors such as geology and climatic factors as well as human influence, both in space and time. Emphasis will be on alpine plants, animals and ecosystems and their relation to the alpine environments. The variation in alpine ecosystems will be demonstrated through excursions to different alpine areas, and the students will get training in sampling of scientific data. Training in identification of alpine plants.

Course Description

The following topics will be covered:

  • Glacial history of alpine areas
  • Geomorphological processes in glacial forelands
  • Alpine soil
  • Mountain climate
  • Vegetation history of alpine areas
  • Gradients in plant distribution
  • Primary succession in glacier forelands
  • Physiological adaptions of alpine plants
  • Alpine vegetation, production and phenology
  • Aquatic ecology
  • Terrestrial animal/bird populations
  • Identification of alpine plants

Learning Methods

Lectures, excursions,, seminars with student presentations, mandatory reports and papers.
35 h lectures, 5 days excursions, 5 h laboratory work.
Teaching medium is English.

Assessment Methods

Group project (report), 25%; species exam, written 4-hour final examination 75%.

Minor adjustments may occur during the academic year, subject to the decision of the Dean

Publisert av / forfatter Arvid Odland <>, last modified Anette Norheim Fredly - 29/01/2009