Beeby & Brennan: First Ecology - Ecological Principles and Environmental Issues 3e
Virtual field course
The virtual field course consists of several virtual field exercises which use data collected by the authors in Portugal, France and the UK. As well as the data files the exercises contain instructions for students (aims, method, background, analysis), video, photos, maps, cross-references to relevant sections of the book and links to further resources.
The virtual field exercises are listed below including brief descriptions. Click on a link below to begin an exercise. Each exercise will open in a new window, most require Excel.
Further information for tutors is available in the Lecturer area of this site.
Clustering of snails on fennel stalks
This exercise supports the discussion of species interactions of Chapter 4, though the nature of this clustering, especially between species, is yet to be fully worked out. The exercise requires you to think how you may extract meaning from a simple data set by presenting the results in several ways.
Scoping likely impacts on a Mediterranean coastal plain
This exercise requires you to think beyond a purely ecological context. By looking at the changes in a Mediterranean landscape likely to be affected by a significant rise in sea levels, it draws principally upon material from Chapters 5, 8 and 9. It prompts you to review the possible implications of ecological change for the social and economic life of a community, and secondly to derive ideas and scenarios that might be testable.
Landscape by numbers
Species-area relationships in the plants of the garrigue
This exercise provides data from a simple survey of grassland plants, rather as suggested at the beginning of Chapter 9. The results, provide an illustration of the species-area principle. The analysis requires you to use a non-linear plot to derive the terms of the equation, and you may then go on to consider how robust this pattern might be under a different sampling regime.
Sands of time
Plant succession and soil development on a Mediterranean sand dune
This extends the description in Chapter 5 of a Mediterranean sand dune succession, by providing data on the chemistry of the 'soil' as well as the distribution of the plant species. The exercise requires you to organise and present your data to illustrate sequential change.
On the rocks
Species zonation on a rocky shore in south eastern England
This exercise seeks to explore the zonation of a rocky shore on the Kent coast of south eastern England. It draws on materials in Chapters 2 and 8 and allows you to practice graph-drawing skills (either by hand or computer). It also requires you to interpret the changes in species distribution and relate these to environmental factors which underlie rocky shore zonation.
Life on the edge
The role of plant life strategies in restoring spoil from the Channel Tunnel
This exercise examines the results of a programme to restore chalk spoil excavated during the construction of the Channel Tunnel. It draws on materials in Chapters 5 and 7 and analyses the plant community which has developed on the site in the twelve years after restoration.