ESC 550: Ecological Dynamics of Landscapes


71209 (for web registration)




Rachel Thiet






Fall 2010

Meeting Schedule:

Fridays 9/3 - 12/10 (1:00PM-3:59PM)


(formerly Community Ecology of the New England Landscape)
Competency Areas Spring 2010 and earlier: Natural Communities – Required
Competency Areas for Fall 2010: Core – Required
Required of and restricted to Spring 2010 and Fall 2010 ES students; others by written permission provided to the Registrar’s Office via Antioch email.
Sections B & C restricted to Fall 2010 EE and SDCC; others by written permission provided to the Registrar’s Office via Antioch email.
Prerequisite: Being able to identify by bark the two dozen most common species of central New England trees (study guide available through Antioch?s web site and FirstClass. (Registration for training modules available August 25 and September 1.)

This course examines the diversity of plant communities found in central New England with special attention to the impact of topography, substrate, and disturbance regimes on community composition and structure as a means to understand ecological community dynamics in any part of the world. As a largely field-based course, both qualitative and quantitative means will be used to describe community composition and structure, as well as the reasons for community placement. Ecocindicator species will be used to delineate specific topographic and edaphic sites, while evidence of various disturbances will be used to interpret successional patterns as a means for “reading the landscape.” The course will have a strong grounding in concepts related to community ecology including dominance, diversity, niche structuring, and succession. Skills in plant community sampling, soil interpretation, and plant identification will also be developed. A number of outstanding representatives of community types in the central Connecticut River watershed will be visited.