autumn 2018
BIO-2006 Plants and Ecosystems - 10 ECTS

Last changed 04.07.2019

Application deadline

Applicants from Nordic countries: 1 June for the autumn semester and 1 December for the spring semester. Concerns only admission to singular courses. Exchange students and Fulbright students: 1 October for the spring semester and 15 April for the autumn semester.  

Note! All students need to enroll for the field course in addition to ordinary course registration by following this link: Enroll for field course

Deadline for enrolling for the field course is 15 June.

The number of places available on this course is limited to 20 students due to the capacity of the fieldcourse. If more than 20 students register for the course the students will be prioritized in the following order: 1) students enrolled on the Bachelor's program in Biology, Climate and Environment (BKM), 2) students enrolled on the Master's program in Biology, 3) average grade.

Type of course

The course is available for students at the study program Biologi, klima og miljø and aimed at MSc-students specializing in "Northen pupulations and ecosystems". The course is also available to exchange students at a biology study program. The course is available as a singular course.

Admission requirements

Nordic applicants: Admission requirements are generell studiekompetanse + REALFA.

Application code: 9336

International applicants: Higher Education Entrance Qualification and certified language requirements in English. A list of the requirements for the Higher Education Entrance Qualification in Norway can be found on the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education website -  

All applicants: The course requires basic knowledge in biology and ecology at university level. Basic knowledge in chemistry and mathematics is an advantage.

Course overlap

NAB-2005 Introduction to arctic agriculture and reindeer husbandry 7 stp
NAB-2005 Nothern natural resource use 10 stp
NAB-2005 Plants and the Ecosystem 10 stp

Course content

Plants have a central role in the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems because they are producers of food for herbivores as well as for soil organisms and several organisms internal to them like e.g. fungal endophytes. Also, plants both create and modify habitat conditions to all organisms in terrestrial ecosystems, including the plants themselves. This course will give theoretical and empirical insight to this central role of plants in terrestrial ecosystems, and how ecosystem management and climate change may modify this role. Most examples will be from northern ecosystems.

Recommended prerequisites

BIO-1005 Ecology and Evolution, BIO-2003 From Individuals to Ecosystems

Objectives of the course


As a student of Bio 2006 the aim is that you understand ecosystem functioning, various ways by which plants play central roles in this functioning, and that this understanding will have a basis in plant community theory:

  • You learn what are traits and how they relate to ecosystem functioning
  • You learn different definitions of biodiversity and how biodiversity is important to ecosystem functioning
  • You learn how ecological interactions involving plants can change ecosystem functioning
  • You learn how plant aboveground and plant belowground interactions are interconnected
  • You learn that environmental change including climate change can modify the basis for ecosystem functioning   
  • You learn how knowledge on the plant role of ecosystems is essential to land use management


As a student of Bio-2006 you will acquire skills through:

  • Studying plants in their natural ecosystem
  • Reading and understanding scientific literature in the format of scientific papers
  • Having knowledge of different types of scientific papers, i.e. review papers, meta-analysis papers, empirical papers and theoretical papers
  • Discussing scientific questions
  • Giving both oral and written presentations of scientific topics
  • Completing a small scientific project, including data sampling in the field, data analysis and discussion presented in the format of a scientific paper
  • Completing a small modeling exercise on plant functional traits

Language of instruction

The language of instruction is English and all of the syllabus material is in English. Examination questions will be given in English, but may be answered either in English or a Scandinavian language. When only Scandinavian students attend, language of instruction is Scandinavian.

Teaching methods

Teaching will be based on a 4-day field course, lectures/seminars/colloquiums (36 hours) including thematic presentations (2). Students will write a project report based on data gathered during the field course. Necessary safety training will be given.


The students will be assessed on the basis of the project and the oral exam. The project has to be passed in order to take the oral exam. A graded scale of five marks from A to E for pass and F for fail. There will be a re-sit examination for students that did not pass the previous ordinary examination. The re-sit exam of an oral exam only.

Recommended reading/syllabus

Will be posted in Canvas
  • About the course
  • Campus: Tromsø |
  • ECTS: 10
  • Course code: BIO-2006