Bi6340 Community ecology and macroecology

Faculty of Science
Autumn 2020
Extent and Intensity
2/0/0. 2 credit(s) (fasci plus compl plus > 4). Type of Completion: zk (examination).
Taught online.
prof. RNDr. Milan Chytrý, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Guaranteed by
prof. RNDr. Milan Chytrý, Ph.D.
Department of Botany and Zoology - Biology Section - Faculty of Science
Contact Person: prof. RNDr. Milan Chytrý, Ph.D.
Supplier department: Department of Botany and Zoology - Biology Section - Faculty of Science
Mon 12:00–13:50 D32/329
Prerequisites (in Czech)
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
there are 7 fields of study the course is directly associated with, display
Course objectives
Understand basic structures and processes occurring in multi-species assemblages at local, regional and global scales, with focus on variation in species diversity and its causes.
Learning outcomes
The student will be able:
- to provide a general description of a community;
- to understand main theories and hypotheses explaining variation in species diversity at local to global scales;
- to select appropriate methods to measure diversity and analyse structure of communities in different ecological contexts;
  • 1. Introduction: definition and delimitation of communities, aims of community ecology and macroecology, brief history of the field;
  • 2. Community structure: individualistic and organismal concept of community, niche theory and competitive exclusion, assembly rules;
  • 3. Measuring diversity: species richness, indices of diversity, equitability and beta diversity;
  • 4. Local species richness: relationship between species richness, productivity and disturbance, regional effects on local species richness, species pool;
  • 5. Global biodiversity: estimations of the number of species on the Earth, stability vs. increase, mass extinctions and adaptive radiations;
  • 6. Current global change of biodiversity: its extent and causes;
  • 7. Relationship between number of species and area: theory of the S-A curve;
  • 8. Biodiversity of islands: theory of island biogeography and its generalizations;
  • 9. Latitudinal and altitudinal biodiversity gradient: hypotheses explaining large tropical biodiversity, altitudinal gradient and mid-domain effect, gradients of habitat heterogeneity;
  • 10. Relative abundance distributions: statistical and biological models, species rarity;
  • 11. Metacommunities: types of metacommunities, Hubbell's neutral theory;
  • 12. Metabolic theory of ecology: relationship between energy and speed of biological processes including evolution and succession;
  • 13. Biological invasions: basic terms of invasion ecology, differences in invasibility of large areas or habitats, theory of invasibility, species richness vs. invasibility.
    required literature
  • KREBS, Charles J. Ecology :the experimental analysis of distribution and abundance. 5th ed. San Francisco: Benjamin Cummings, 2001. xx, 695 s. ISBN 0-321-04289-1. info
  • BEGON, Michael, John L. HARPER and Colin R. TOWNSEND. Ekologie : jedinci, populace a společenstva. Translated by Bronislava Grygová - Barbara Köberleová - Zdeněk Brandl. 1. vyd. Olomouc: Vydavatelství Univerzity Palackého, 1997. xxiv, 949. ISBN 8070676957. info
Teaching methods
Assessment methods
The final written exam comprises 20 questions. When a student answers a question correctly, he/she is awarded a point for it. To pass the test, the student must reach a score of at least 10 points. In case of worsening epidemiological situation, the exam can be oral through a videocall.
Language of instruction
Further comments (probably available only in Czech)
Study Materials
The course is taught annually.
Listed among pre-requisites of other courses
Teacher's information
In autumn 2020, this lecture will be running online. It is available at the YouTube channel Online consultations will be realized through MS Teams:
The course is also listed under the following terms Spring 2008 - for the purpose of the accreditation, Autumn 2010 - only for the accreditation, Spring 2003, Spring 2004, Spring 2005, Spring 2006, Spring 2007, Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Autumn 2010, Autumn 2011, Autumn 2011 - acreditation, Autumn 2012, Autumn 2013, Autumn 2014, Autumn 2015, Autumn 2016, autumn 2017, Autumn 2018, Autumn 2019.
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