Organismal Biology 2

Undergraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content

The course aims to develop the students' knowledge of population ecology, community ecology, ecosystems, and conservation ecology. Through a combination of field work and lectures, students will be trained in the identification of species, and will develop an understanding of how species are adapted to the environment they live in, what requirements they impose on the environment, and how species interact and depend on each other. In addition, some of the special challenges they have in the conservation of biodiversity in the Nordic countries will be discussed (endangered species and habitats, blacklists, etc.). Furthermore, the course will include an introduction to scientific methods in the field used to study the mentioned aspects.

In addition to lectures, the course contain a large proportion practical teaching in the field.

Learning Outcomes

After completing the course, students should:


  • have a basic understanding of population ecology, community ecology, and ecosystems.
  • be able to explain the different biomes, and biome distribution in the world
  • have knowledge of the most important factors that influence species distribution globally and locally
  • have an understanding how species interact and affect each other positively and negatively
  • be able to describe biodiversity in an area and discuss the factors that affect biodiversity
  • be able to describe and understand the dynamic processes both for populations and communities on shorter and longer time scales
  • be able to explain simple biogeographical principles, such as equilibrium model for island biogeography.
  • understand how life history traits affect the ecology of the species
  • be able to explain the main threats to biodiversity today, especially in the Nordic countries and the world in general, and what instruments to use in the preservation of biodiversity
  • be able to identify a given set of species of plants, animals and fungi, and be able to use literature to identify other species in western Norway
  • know the main environmental factors on the distribution of species in the Nordic countries
  • understand the importance of interactions between prokaryotes and Eukaryotic plants and animals as well as the importance and function of prokaryotic organisms in biogeochemical cycles
  • have an understanding of the methods used in ecology

ECTS Credits


Level of Study


Semester of Instruction


This course has a limited capacity, enrolment is based on application in the spring semester.

Place of Instruction

Required Previous Knowledge
Recommended Previous Knowledge
 BIO100 and BIO101.
Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap
BIO111 Zoologi (5 SP), BIO112 Botanikk (5 SP), BIO113 Mikrobiologi (5 SP).
Compulsory Assignments and Attendance
Participation on field courses.
Forms of Assessment
Portfolio assessment
Grading Scale
The grading scale used is A to F. Grade A is the highest passing grade, grade F is a fail.
Reading List
The reading list will be available within July 1st for the autumn semester and January 1st for the spring semester.
Course Evaluation
Students will evaluate the course in accordance with the quality assurance system at UiB and the Department.
Examination Support Material
Programme Committee
The Programme Committee is responsible for the content, structure and quality of the programme and courses.