Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


This unit provides an integrative understanding of the distribution of the Australian flora, past and present, and of current Australian vegetation types and their relationships with a dynamic environment. Students become familiar with the quantitative characterisation of their environment by classifying plant communities according to structural and physiognomic attributes, and analysing field data for patterns of diversity and community organisation. Students also learn how vegetation mapping, inventory and interpretation of remotely sensed data are based on understanding vegetation structure and that this knowledge underpins local, regional and national management capabilities. The unit appeals to students interested in botany, ecology, land and water management, conservation biology, restoration ecology and agriculture.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Non-standard teaching periodUWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 core unit in the Botany; Environmental Science and Ecology; Biodiversity and Evolution; Plant Biology major sequences
  • Level 3 elective

Students are able to (1) describe the main vegetation types in Australia and their distribution in relation to soil type, climate, landform and disturbance; (2) classify vegetation according to structural and physiognomic attributes; (3) analyse field data for patterns of diversity and community organisation & understand principles of ecological sampling; and (4) demonstrate an understanding of how vegetation mapping, inventory and interpretation of remotely sensed data require an understanding of vegetation structure.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) simulation modelling project; (2) data analysis report; and (3) final exam. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Pauline Grierson (00029671)
Unit rules
Successful completion of
one Unit(s) PLNT2204 Plant Diversity and Evolution (ID 1302)
or Unit(s) ENVT2250 Ecology (ID 1228)
Approved quota: 25—group A: 25 students; group B: no quota
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).
Participation in this unit will incur the following incidental fee(s):
Field Trip (estimated cost - Up to $500).
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week
labs: 3 hours per week
Group A: a week-long field trip (charges: cost of food and accommodation is borne by the student)
Group B: several extra labs

Beard, J. S. Plant Life of Western Australia: Kangaroo Press 1990

Keith, D.A.  Australian Vegetation. Third Edition: Cambridge University Press 2017

Kent, M. and Coker, P. Vegetation Description and Analysis: a Practical Approach: Belhaven Press 1992

  • 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.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.