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  1. Physical Geography Lectures 1 item
    1. These lectures, one field trip, and two practicals collectively consider the distribution of organisms across the planet (Biogeography, led by Dr Katy Roucoux), how these change through time (Palaeoecology, led by Prof Keith Bennett), and the application of these to conservation problems (led by Dr Althea Davies).

       

      The field trip will demonstrate how sediment cores and collected, and the laboratory practicals will provide experience in analysing inorganic and organic material from the cores.

  2. General reading on Palaeoecology/Biogeography: 4 items
    1. Biogeography: an ecological and evolutionary approach - C. Barry Cox, Peter D. Moore 2005

      Book  Available in the Library and as an e-book.

    2. The 8th edition is also available in the Library:

    3. An introduction to physical geography and the environment - Joseph Holden 2012

      Book  Available in the Library and as an e-book. Previous editions also available in the Library. Chapters 18, 19, 22, and 238 (The Biosphere), 9 (Biogeographical Conepts) and 10 (Ecological Processes) are relevant to this part of the module.

  3. Introduction to Biogeography: where is life and why? (KR) 2 items
    This lecture introduces the subject of Biogeography, presents the main factors controlling the spatial distribution of life on Earth and outlines the overarching patterns that result.
    1. Key Readings: 2 items
      1. Biogeography: an ecological and evolutionary approach - C. Barry Cox, Peter D. Moore 2005

        Book  Available in the Library and as an e-book. Other editions of this textbook are also available in the Library (page references may vary). Of particular interest for this lecture: pp. 83 – 84 Magnolias; pp. 89 – 90 on endemism; pp. 90 – 96 on physical limitations and environmental gradients, including the C4 plant distribution example. Chapter 5, pp. 128 – 132 on evolutionary adaptations of plants to environmental stress (Raunkiaer 1934).

      2. Biodiversity hotspots for conservation priorities - Norman Myers, Russell A. Mittermeier, Cristina G. Mittermeier, Gustavo A. B. da Fonseca 2000

        Article 

  4. Biogeographical Processes: island life and ocean-going (KR) 4 items
    This lecture considers the key evolutionary and biogeographical mechanisms that determine the geographical patterns of life of Earth. We begin by revising the basics of evolutionary theory, then learn about at the Theory of Island Biogeography, and finish with the example of Madagascar as it provides striking examples of many evolutional and biogeographical processes in action.
    1. Key Readings: 4 items
      1. Biogeography: an ecological and evolutionary approach - C. Barry Cox, Peter D. Moore 2005

        Book  Available in the Library and as an e-book.Chapters 6, 7, 8 and 9 contain material relevant to this lecture.

  5. Long-term ecology (KB) 1 item
    This lecture introduces the subject of Palaeoecology, presents the main factors controlling the changes in the distribution and abundance of life, particular plants, on Earth through time, particularly the period since the last glaciation 20,000 years ago. We will be looking particularly at how organisms responded to the repeated climate changes of the Quaternary ice ages, with special emphasis on the development of vegetation and habitats following the last ice age (ca. 20,000 years ago). Most of Britain, and all of Scotland, was covered by an ice sheet, so the present flora and fauna is entirely immigrant following retreat of that ice.
    1. Key Readings: 1 item
      1. Encyclopedia of Quaternary science - Scott A. Elias 2007

        Book  Available in the Library and as an e-book. Various chapters, particularly in the Palaeobotany, Vertebrate Studies and Insect Fossil Studies sections.

  6. Sites and sediments (KB) 1 item
    This lecture introduces the characteristics of the main types of sites where organic sediments accumulate, providing suitable material for the preservation of plant and animal remains and for dating.
    1. Key Readings: 1 item
      1. Encyclopedia of Quaternary science - Scott A. Elias 2007

        Book  Available in the Library and as an e-book. Various chapters, particularly in the Quaternary stratigraphy section.

  7. Dating methods (KB) 4 items
    An accurate chronology is essential for the interpretation and chronology of any sequence of sediments. This lecture describes the main methods available for dating late-Quaternary sediment sequences, particularly for the period since the last glaciation.
    1. Key Readings: 4 items
      1. DATING TECHNIQUES - A.J.T. Jull

        Chapter Recommended A good (quite detailed) over view of dating techniques in Quaternary Science. Don't worry about the details.

      2. Encyclopedia of quaternary science - Scott A. Elias, Cary J. Mock, ScienceDirect (Online service) 2013 (electronic book)

        Book Optional Here you can look up any dating technique used in Quaternary Science. There is enough detail here for professional researchers and more than you need - but interesting to follow up on one or two techniqueds just to see what it out there.

      3. Reconstructing quaternary environments - J. J. Lowe, M. J. C. Walker c2015

        Book Recommended See chapter on dating techniques.

      4. Quaternary dating methods - M. J. C. Walker 2005

        Book Optional Available in the Library and as an e-book. Lots of detail here for the very interested!

  8. Biological evidence of past environments (KR) 2 items
    This lecture will introduce the concept of “proxy” evidence for past environmental and climatic change. Many biological materials are preserved in Quaternary sediments as fossils or, more often, sub-fossils and we will look at how these are used to investigate the past. We will focus on one of the most important of all the proxy data sources pollen and spores, which are used to reconstruct past vegetation changes.
    1. Key Readings: 2 items
      1. Late Quaternary environmental change: physical and human perspectives - Martin Bell, M. J. C. Walker 2005

        Book  pp. 17 – 31 (the first half of the chapter entitled Evidence for Environmental Change). Available in the Library and as an e-book.

      2. Reconstructing quaternary environments - J. J. Lowe, M. J. C. Walker 2015

        Book  2015 or 1997 edition. For more detail, the sections on biological evidence in the following text book is excellent.

  9. Ecosystem responses to long-term climatic change (KR) 5 items
    The focus of this lecture will be how vegetation, specifically the forests of southern Europe, have responded to past climatic changes. We will look at examples of pollen records which preserve evidence for forest change on two distinct timescales: a) millennial scale climatic shifts like those which characterised the last glacial period and b) multi-millennial, “orbital scale” glacial-interglacial cycles characteristic of the last 800,000 years.
    1. Key Readings: 5 items
      1. The Rise and Fall of Forests - H. J. B. Birks, Hilary H. Birks 2004

        Article Essential

      2. Earth's climate: past and future - W. F. Ruddiman c2014

        Book Optional

      3. Global environments through the Quaternary: exploring environmental change - David Anderson, Andrew Goudie, Adrian Parker 2013 (electronic book)

        Book Optional

  10. Climate, carbon and conservation palaeoecology (AD) 1 item
    The first lecture focuses on a recurring issue in UK peatland conservation: should trees grow on bogs? Trees are often seen as a threat to peatland function, especially carbon storage, yet wood remains are quite common within the peat and trees coexist with peat in boreal forested bogs and tropical swamp forests. Using palaeoecology and modelling, this lecture examines if some tree growth could be considered normal on bogs and assesses the implications of climate change for the relationship between peat, carbon and trees , and conservation efforts to prevent tree colonisation.
    1. Key Readings: 1 item
  11. Islands and aliens (AD) 1 item
    Globally accelerated movement of species characterises the biogeography of the Anthropocene. In particular, the high or unique biodiversity of islands is often adversely affected by non-native species that have arrived with humans. The second lecture travels further afield to look at how biogeography and palaeoecology are informing conservation and restoration efforts in the Galapagos and in New Zealand. It also introduces you to some novel tools in conservation palaeoecology, including DNA from coprolites.
    1. Key Readings: 1 item
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