BIOL 555D1/D2 (Fall/Winter)

Functional Ecology of Trees (3 credits)


BIOL 304 and BIOL 308 or permission.  Facility with statistical applications (SAS, Systat, or similar software) required. Undergraduates interested in trees are encouraged to take BIOL 355, but with suitable preparation may enroll in BIOL 355 with the permission of the instructor.
Course level and approach:
The course is built around a block of lectures on variation in the form and function of trees combined with tutorial discussions in support of individual projects.  Every student will undertake a major term project involving either an analysis and synthesis of literature data or a modeling exercise that explores some aspect of plant function.  The project will be written up as a paper for publication.
Exploration of alternative designs for trees, and their efficacy in contrasting environments. Review of the principle trade-offs governing form and function in trees and their alternative expression in diverse environments.  Models of trait evolution in trees.  Review of phylogenetic patterns in the functional diversification of woody plants.
Selected primary literature, review articles.
Lecture presentations during the fall term, including remedial background review of selected topics as necessary, plus individually scheduled tutorials throughout the year.  Prospective students should contact the professor in advance; the course will only be given if enrolment is sufficient.

The grade for the course will rest on performance in class and tutorial discussions, on the formal mid-year project report and on the final project report.

McGill University values academic integrity. Therefore all students must understand the meaning and consequences of cheating, plagiarism and other academic offences under the Code of Student Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures (see for more information).

Last update: April 7, 2017