Palaeo-ecology

Course Code :2001WETPAL
Study domain:Biology
Academic year:2019-2020
Semester:1st semester
Contact hours:30
Credits:3
Study load (hours):84
Contract restrictions: Exam contract not possible
Language of instruction:English
Exam period:exam in the 1st semester
Lecturer(s)Bart Van De Vijver

3. Course contents *

The discipline of paleoecologyaims to reconstructthe environmentin the past.This discipline is basedon the analysisand interpretation offossilfaunasandflorasin theirstratigraphicand geomorphologicalcontext.The obtainedknowledge of thepaleo-environmenthas provedindispensableto assessthe consequences of thecurrent environmentalchanges, includingthose of the climate.The objective ofthis course is to get familiar withthepaleo-ecological methodology.The resources that can be used by bothbotanicallyandzoologicallyorientedbiologiststo reconstruct the past environmentwill be discussed. A multidisciplinary approachis therefore of prime importance. The differentsteps requiredto bringapaleo-ecological study to a successful conclusionare discussed extensively such ascollectingsediment cores, the differentdatingtechniques used, andtheapplication ofgeochemical and biologicalproxies. Thislast partwill get most of the attention. The methodscoveredwill be furtherusedto showhowthe transition fromthe Pleistoceneto the Holocene, andalsothe further course ofthe Holocene, can be reconstructed. Anumber ofcase studieson various subjects, such astheacidificationof surface waters, the reconstruction of thechanges insea levelandice coverintheArctic Ocean, the impact ofNeolithic manonthe landscape, willillustrate this.