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HR923 - Biological Invasions in Changing Environments

  • Module code: HR923
  • Module name: Biological Invasions in Changing Environments
  • Department: School of Life Sciences
  • Credit: 10

Content and teaching | Assessment | Availability

Module content and teaching

Principal aims

Non-native invasive species pose significant threats to natural and agricultural ecosystems worldwide and often have very severe, though difficult to quantify, economic impacts. Invasive species rank second only to habitat loss and destruction in a list of global threats to biodiversity. Climate change, environmental degradation, together with increased global trade, promote opportunities for the introduction, spread and persistence of invasive species and hence there may undesirable interactions between biological invasion and climate change. This module will introduce students to the principles of invasion biology and ecology with reference to ecological hypotheses. These principles will be illustrated with a number of case studies which will be examined in more detail using examples of invasive plants, pathogens, microbes, insects, mammals and invertebrates in agricultural and natural terrestrial, aquatic and marine environments. These more detailed studies will investigate the economic and environmental impacts of invasive species. Throughout, the current and future impacts of environmental change on invasive species will be considered. This module will enable students to evaluate the threats posed by invasive species in agricultural and natural ecosystems that are subject to increased environmental change and disturbance.

Principal learning outcomes

 Understand the biological characteristics of invasive species and the principles that underpin the invasion process.  Evaluate critically the agricultural, environmental, ecological and economic impacts of invasive species.  Evaluate avoidance and management strategies for invasive species.  Show critical awareness of the potential impacts of climate and environmental change on biological invasions

Timetabled teaching activities

Module duration (weeks): 2 Lectures: 15 Seminars: 6 External visits: 8

Departmental link

Module assessment

Assessment group Assessment name Percentage
10 CATS (Module code: HR923-10)
A2 (Assessed work only) 2500 word Essay 60%
  Seminar Presentation 40%

Module availability

This module is available on the following courses:

  • Postgraduate Taught Environmental Bioscience in a Changing Climate (D4A1) - Year 1
Optional Core
  • Postgraduate Taught Sustainable Crop Production: Agronomy for the 21st Century (D4A2) - Year 1
  • Postgraduate Taught Food Security (D4A3) - Year 1
  • Postgraduate Taught Integrative Bioscience (C1PK) - Year 1
  • Postgraduate Taught Scientific Research and Communication (F1PE) - Year 1