SUNY Oneonta

GEOG 304 Biogeography of a Diverse Planet

3 s.h.

Biography is the study of the distribution patterns and relationships of plants and animals and their environment. The field of biogeography borrows and extends principles from physical geography, ecology, biology, climatology, and geology. There are many millions of species on Earth, and each of these species occupies a specific habitat or home in which it can live and reproduce. All organisms live within an ecological optimum. With the possible exception of humans, no species is globally distributed. Each species' distribution is controlled by a unique set of factors, including temporal, biological, geomorphic, edaphic, climatic, and evolutionary processes. Today natural species patterning is radically altered by human activities: thus, the role of humans on the ecology and distribution of plants and animals will be a fundamental theme examined by the course. Specifically, the course will cover: why biogeography is important; patterns and controls of species distribution (both biological and physical); natural and human disturbances; biodiversity; biomes and species adaptation; island biogeography (with examples from the Galapagos Islands); and, three hands-on application studies on the northeastern forest biome, northern wetland ranges and delineation, and tornado disturbance and community succession in northern forests. (LA)

Prerequisites: JrS, and 6 s.h. of GEOG, GEOG 202 recommended.

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