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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2011 Undergraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 0 (NATIONAL PRIORITY), 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Science
Monash Passport categoryConnect (Explore Program)
OfferedClayton Second semester 2011 (Day)
Sunway Second semester 2011 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Catherine Yule (Sunway); Dr Patrick Baker (Clayton)


This subject examines the biology of terrestrial tropical ecosystems. It focuses on South East Asia, the Malaysian region in particular, with its diverse habits including lowland dipterocarp forest, peat swamp forests, montane cloud forests, heath forests, limestone vegetation and karst with associated cave formations. In terms of biodiversity, the Indo-Malaysian region is one of the richest in the world, and factors influencing the high biodiversity will be examined. Students will gain an understanding of the importance of climate, nutrient cycling, disturbance, and forest dynamics, on the ecology of tropical plants and animals. Conservation and management issues such as conflicting land-use requirements, peat swamp drainage, logging and fire are discussed.


On completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. demonstrate an understanding of the diversity, structure and function of a range of tropical ecosystems;
  2. demonstrate an understanding of conservation and management issues relating to tropical ecosystems;
  3. demonstrate and understand the importance of climate, nutrient cycling, disturbance and forest dynamics, on the ecology of tropical plants and animals;
  4. design, analyse and undertake sampling programs to examine the flora and fauna of tropical habitats;
  5. demonstrate advanced scientific report writing skills;
  6. make effective oral and visual presentations;
  7. work collaboratively and effectively in teams.


Essay: 20%
Mid-semester test: 20%
Field trip project: 30%
Final exam: 30%

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Catherine Yule

Contact hours

Two 1-hour lectures and one 1-hour tutorial per week (or equivalent), plus one 5-day field trip (or equivalent)


BIO1011, and one of BIO1022 or BIO1042. Recommended: BIO2011