Bi8001 Pedobiology

Faculty of Science
Spring 2021
Extent and Intensity
2/0/0. 2 credit(s) (plus extra credits for completion). Type of Completion: zk (examination).
doc. Dipl. Biol. Jiří Schlaghamerský, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Guaranteed by
doc. Dipl. Biol. Jiří Schlaghamerský, Ph.D.
Department of Botany and Zoology - Biology Section - Faculty of Science
Contact Person: doc. Dipl. Biol. Jiří Schlaghamerský, Ph.D.
Supplier department: Department of Botany and Zoology - Biology Section - Faculty of Science
Prerequisites (in Czech)
( Bi1030 Inverteb. phylog. & divers. || Bi2000 Anim. phylog. & divers. ) && Bi5080 Basics of ecology
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is also offered to the students of the fields other than those the course is directly associated with.
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
Course objectives
The course presents a broad introduction into soil biology with focus on the animal component of soil biota. It introduces soil as a part of terrestrial ecosystems and as the habitat of a diverse community of organisms, providing also an introduction to soil classification and major processes of soil formation (pedogenesis). It stresses the importance od decomposition, and thus element cycling, and covers also the decomposition of wood, faeces and carrion and the degradative succession of organisms on these ecological resources. The course represents one of the directions of specialization within the study programme, and is the basis for further, more narrowly focused courses in the subsequent master's study programme Zoology, for those students, who specialize on soil animals or invertebrates other than insects and arachnids (which are covered directly by entomological and arachnological courses), such as annelids and gastropods. As such it also represents the basis for the selection of questions posed in the master's state final examination with regard to the student's specialisation (because of the knowledge required for working on the bachelor's thesis the course is taught in the bachelor's study programme).
Learning outcomes
At the end of this course, students should be able to: 1) describe the basic composition of soil, major soil types and principles by which these are defined, humus forms, and principles of pedogenesis; 2) list and explain the major ecological factors affecting soil organisms; 3) list and characterise major soil organism groups, explain various ways to categorize them, explain their importance (function); 4) explain the effect of litter quality on its decomposition and the function of individual organism groups in decomposition and mineralisation (nutrient cycling); 5) explain the importance and position of soils and soil organims within terrestrial ecosystems, food chains and nets, the interconnection of above- and below-ground processes; 6)charakterise the major pedobiological methods; 7)charakterise terrestrial habitats/substrates outside of soil proper, where decomposition processes and degradative succession occurs; 8)charakterise communities within the saprotrophic food chain associated with the decomposition of wood, excrements and carrion.
  • The course includes the following units:
  • what is soil: basics of pedology (pedogenesis, major soil types, humus forms);
  • soil as an environment of organisms;
  • decomposition of dead organic matter and the decomposition compartment of ecosystems, degradative succession;
  • decomposition in the major biomes, pecularities of tropical soils and consequences for tropical ecosystems and agriculture;
  • soil fertilisation and contamination, bioremediation;
  • the effect of resource (nekromass) composition on decomposition processes;
  • the effect of physical and chemical traits of the soil on decomposition processes;
  • communities of soil organisms (edaphon): distribution in space and time, function, classification of soil fauna (size, trophy);
  • the microbiological component of soils;
  • major soil biological methods: traditional and modern ones;
  • the utilisation of microorganims by animals for mobilising nutrients, decomposition in the ruminant pouch;
  • wood decomposition, decomposing wood as the environment of saproxylic communities of individual successional stages;
  • faeces decomposition and associated organisms;
  • decomposition of carrion and scavangers.
  • Smolíková, L. (1982, 1988): Pedologie. I. Státní pedagogické nakladatelství (1. i 2. vyd.), Praha.
  • Swift, M. J., Heal, O. W. & Anderson, J. M. (1979): Decomposition in Terrestrial Ecosystems (Studies in Ecology, Vol. 5), Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford, ISBN 0-632-00378-2.
  • Begon, M., Harper, J. L. & Townsend, C. R. (1997): Ekologie: jedinci, populace a společenstva. Vydavatelství Univerzity Palackého, Olomouc, ISBN 80-7067-695-7.
Teaching methods
Assessment methods
The course is given as a series of lectures; credits are given based on the positive result of an oral exam.
Language of instruction
Further comments (probably available only in Czech)
Study Materials
The course is taught once in two years.
Information on the per-term frequency of the course: jaro lichých let (2021, ...).
The course is also listed under the following terms Spring 2003, Spring 2004, Autumn 2004, Spring 2005, Autumn 2005, Spring 2006, Autumn 2006, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2012, spring 2012 - acreditation, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2017.
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