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SCM3022 - Tropical terrestrial biology

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Science

Leader: Dr Cathy Yule


Clayton Second semester 2007 (Day)
Malaysia Second semester 2007 (Day)


This unit focuses on the biology of terrestrial tropical ecosystems in South East Asia (particularly the Malaysian region) but also looks at tropical environments in other parts of the world. The Malaysian region encompasses many unique tropical habitats such as dipterocarp forest, peatswamp, cloud forest, karst vegetation and caves which are studied in detail. The students will gain an understanding of the importance of climate, nutrient cycling, disturbance, and succession on the ecology of tropical plants and animals. Conservation and management issues will also be examined.


On completion of this unit, students will have gained an introduction to the diversity and ecology of tropical environments in South East Asia. Both natural and artificial (e.g. rice paddies and oil palm plantations) habitats will be examined and consideration will be given to tropical ecosystems throughout the world. The students will gain an understanding of the conservation and management issues relating to specific tropical environments, particularly those in the Malaysian region. The students will develop skills to design and analyze sampling programs to examine the flora and fauna of tropical habitats.


Essay: 15%
Class presentation: 5%
Mid-semester test: 20%
Field trip assignment: 5%
Field trip practical report: 20%
Final exam: 35%

Contact hours

Two 1-hour lectures, one 1-hour tutorial per week (or equivalent), one five day field trip (or equivalent)


BIO1011, BIO1022 or BIO1042 + Recommended BIO2011