SubjectsSubjects(version: 873)
Course, academic year 2020/2021
Plant ecophysiology - MB130P22E
Title: Fyziologické funkce rostlin v ekosystémech
Guaranteed by: Department of Experimental Plant Biology (31-130)
Faculty: Faculty of Science
Actual: from 2020
Semester: summer
E-Credits: 4
Examination process: summer s.:
Hours per week, examination: summer s.:3/0 Ex [hours/week]
Capacity: unlimited
Min. number of students: 5
State of the course: taught
Language: English
Additional information:
Guarantor: prof. RNDr. Jana Albrechtová, Ph.D.
Attributes: Modul Ekologie a evoluce
N//Is incompatible with: MB130P22
Opinion survey results   Examination dates   Schedule   
Annotation -
Last update: prof. RNDr. Jana Albrechtová, Ph.D. (29.10.2019)
The course aim is to enable students to understand the essential roles of plants in the context of the functioning of ecosystems and the entire planet Earth. Plants will be presented in their diversity as essential to the functioning of life on Earth in its present form. The lecture gives students an idea of how plants interact with their environment - abiotic and biotic factors, how plants react to environmental factors and how physiological functions of plants in ecosystems determine the functions and properties of certain ecosystems to the role of plants in global processes of element biogeochemical cycles, energy fluxes and formation of the Earth's climate. In addition to physiological functions, different adaptations of plants to different environments will be discussed, whether adaptive, evolutionary, or acclimative, in the context of phenotypic plasticity of plant responses to environmental factors during ontogenesis. On the examples of individual ecosystems, attention will be paid to the extraordinary abilities of plants to adapt to various soil-climatic conditions in different ecosystems, we will discuss the adaptation of plants to cold, frost, high temperatures, salinity, flooding. As plants react differently to the presence of heavy metals and pollutants, we will discuss the basics of phytoremediation. Attention will also be paid to the functional traits of plants and their importance for ecosystems, biotic interactions of plants with other organisms in ecosystems - plants, soil microorganisms, pathogens, etc. The ecosystem services provided by plants will also be discussed. Given the interdependence of climate and vegetation functions, the lecture will focus not only on the effects of climate on plants, but also on influencing local, regional and global climate by plants. The lecture will also address the current climate change and its impact on plants and how plants affect the climate of the planet. Also discussed will be the plants in agroecoystems, basic principles of crop production, different types of agriculture - conventional, alternative, agroforestry, precision agriculture will be mentioned. We will also discuss remote vegetation research, how remote sensing methods, especially reflectance, can contribute to the study of plant function in ecosystems. For biologists, it is advisable to attend a lecture on Plant Anatomy or Plant Anatomy and Morphology and one of the lectures on Plant Physiology or for a course in Plant Anatomy and Physiology, because basic physiological processes are only for reference.

Crawford R.M.M. 1990, Studies in Plant Survival, Blackwell Scinetific Publications,pp. 296
Eiseltová, M. (ed.) 1994, Restoration of Lake Ecosystems a holistic approach, IWRB Publication 32, 182 pp.
Literature -
Last update: prof. RNDr. Jana Albrechtová, Ph.D. (29.10.2019)

Crawford R.M.M. 1990, Studies in Plant Survival, Blackwell Scinetific Publications,pp. 296
Eiseltová, M. (ed.) 1994, Restoration of Lake Ecosystems a holistic approach, IWRB Publication 32, 182 pp.

Requirements to the exam
Last update: doc. RNDr. Helena Lipavská, Ph.D. (12.04.2012)

written test + oral examination based on the test results + short paper

Syllabus -
Last update: prof. RNDr. Jana Albrechtová, Ph.D. (23.02.2009)

1. Plants and biosphere

  • characterization of biosphere
  • structural and functional differences of plants: cyanobacteria, algae, higher plants
  • role of plants in food chain: producers, loss of energy in individual trofic levels
  • food chains in natural vs. agro-ecosystems (petrochemical and sun-driven agriculture)

2. Plants and atmosphere

  • characteristics of solar irradiance on the Earth
  • use of solar energy in different organisms
  • photosynthesis, fixation of carbon and solar energy
  • energy balance of leaf, plant and stand
  • water cycle and its interactions with plants

3. Plants in global cycle of carbon

  • description of carbon global cycle
  • importance of water (ocean) and terrestrial plants in carbon cycle
  • antropogenic interactions with carbon cycling
  • changing climate and vegetation: influence of CO2, changing temperature, precipitation and pH of oceans

4. Plants and climate

  • vegetation and dissipative energy (W. Ripl)
  • stabilization effects of vegetation - temperature, air humidity
  • consequences of vegetation depletion, deforestation and decline of ancient civilizations
  • influence of vegetation on local, regional and global climate
  • Earth as GAIA (Lovelock), self-organizing structures (Prigogine, Capra)
  • ecosystem functions

5. Plants and pedosphere

  • soil development and structure
  • uptake and utilization of mineral nutrients from soil
  • role of plants in nutrients cycling (N, P, K,?)
  • myccorhiza ?symbiosis of plant and fungus
  • mineral nutrients in common and organic agriculture

6. Cold and freezing biotopes - arctic and alpine biotopes

  • adaptation and acclimation of plants
  • climatic and geographical boundaries
  • invasive species
  • adaptation to frost, dormancy
  • adaptation to cold weather
  • plants in alpine areas and their characteristics
  • special features of plants in arctic areas

7. Production forest versus virgin forest, forest flora

  • eco-physiology of forests
  • broad leaved vs. needle leaved forests (nutrient cycling, soil characteristics)
  • water cycling in forests
  • forests deterioration ? acidification, management, bark beetle
  • forest flora and characteristics of the biotope (light, nutrients, water, CO2)
  • forest fire and its consequences

8. Peat lands, moor lands

  • evolution of post-glacial landscape, peat lands and their transition
  • ecophysiology of Sphagnum sp. and other species of peat lands (photosynthesis, respiration, growth, productivity)
  • peat lands and moors in the Czech Republic (protection, revitalization)
  • peat land drainage, water quality
  • peat land and climate change
  • peat land and environment (nutrient deposition, decrease of horizontal precipitation)

9. Meadows and pastures

  • eco-physiology of pasture ecosystems and their succession in cultural landscape
  • grass as biomass, biogas
  • organic farming, sustainable production
  • water ecosystems

10. Physiology of water macrophytes and algae

  • photosynthesis in water, changes in forms of inorganic carbon and pH
  • plants in water ecosystems, oligotrophy, hypertrophy
  • food chain in water ecosystems
  • water algae, water bloom (case studies)

11. Wetlands. Eco-physiology of the emersed mycrophytes

  • basic chemistry of flooded soils
  • anoxic and post-anoxic shock
  • accumulation of inorganic substances in flooded biotopes, carbon sequestration and release
  • eco-physiology of flooded roots
  • role of wetlands in landscape
  • management of river flood-plains and reed belts

12. Drought and salinity

  • adaptation of plants to drought and salinity
  • different life forms - succulents, ephemer species etc.
  • desertification and its consequences
  • salinity of soils (primary, secondary)
  • Australia - a thirsty continent, Aral see - ships in desert, Africa - overpopulation

13. Conclusions

  • Millenium Ecosystem Assessment
  • Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
  • Our Common Future
  • Economy and eco-physiology relations

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