Faculty of Science

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

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

FacultyFaculty of Science
Organisational UnitSchool of Biological Sciences
OfferedClayton First semester 2015 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Gerry Rayner


This unit focuses on the factors influencing the distribution, composition and structure of plant communities from around the world, and the characteristics of the component plant species that enable them to survive in diverse environments. Methods of quantifying community parameters and physiological responses are covered in the practical course. Case studies will focus on Australian species. There is a four-day field excursion during the Easter break (fee payable).


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Describe the broad characteristics of the Earth's major vegetation types, and functional and structural differences between plants adapted to different environments;

  1. Explain the fundamental physiological and ecological processes that influence vegetation types and their component species;

  1. Integrate and explain various environmental interactions and their impact on plant growth and development;

  1. Demonstrate strong competence in methodological approaches used in the plant sciences, including the collection, interpretation, analysis and synthesis of biological data;

  1. Effectively communicate the results of practical and project work in a range of modes and for a variety of audiences;

  1. Work effectively, responsibly and safely in individual and peer or team contexts.


Examination (2.5 hours): 50%
Practical report: 30%
Essay: 20%

Workload requirements

Two 1-hour lectures, equivalent of 3 hours laboratory plus field work per week

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


12 points from level two BIO units, including either BIO2011 or BIO2181, or by permission.
Recommended: BIO2022.