PLNT3301 Plant Physiological Ecology

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 core unit in the Botany major sequence
  • The area of knowledge for this unit is Life and Health Sciences
  • Category B broadening unit for students
  • Level 3 elective
This unit explores how plants grow and function, especially in Australian terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. It covers material that should appeal to all students who are interested in plants and their growth. Students discover and become familiar with key processes that are ultimately important for sustainable management of ecosystems. These plant processes include photosynthesis, carbon and nitrogen partitioning, mineral acquisition, plant–water relations, plant responses and tolerance to stress, symbiotic associations and ecological biochemistry. As such the unit is essential for Botany students but should have equal appeal to any area where plants have a central role including Conservation Biology, Environmental Science, Marine Science, Agricultural Science and for students interested in the effects of climate change. The unit provides a solid foundation for students interested in honours, master's, PhD and ultimately a career in any of these areas.
Students are able to (1) have a good understanding of the functioning of plants in ecosystems, especially major Australian ecosystems; (2) be aware of the effects of environmental change (salinity, nutrient supply, water availability, temperature, atmospheric carbon dioxide, climate) on functioning of plants and ecosystems; (3) have the ability to think at different levels of integration, from molecular physiology to physiological and systems ecology; and (4) have the capacity for analytical thinking and for the development of logical arguments with respect to plant physiology and ecology.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) practical assignments and (2) a written examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor Erik Veneklaas
Unit rules
PLNT2201 Plants in Action
ENVT2250 Ecology
Incidental fees
Incidental student fees and charges are costs incurred by students as part of their studies at UWA that are in addition to their tuition fees (further information is available here or contact your Faculty Office).
Participation in this unit will incur the following incidental fee(s):
Field Trip (estimated cost - Up to $300).
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week; tutorials: on modelling of ecophysiological processes and to prepare for the field trip; compulsory field trip: 4 days to Eneabba (charges: cost of food and accommodation is borne by the student)
Unit Outline
Semester 1-2020 [SEM-1-2020]

Lambers, H. et al. Plant Physiological Ecology: Springer-Verlag 2008

  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.