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300163 UE Methods in pollination biology (2021S)

5.00 ECTS (4.00 SWS), SPL 30 - Biologie
Continuous assessment of course work



max. 15 participants
Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

First meeting: 24.03.2021, 14:30 - 16:30, online (link to online meeting will follow).
Blocked course at the end of May between 17.05.-28.05.2021 with fieldwork planned to take place close to Mödling, in the Botanical Garden and at selected Vienna City wilderness areas.
Monday 17.5.2021 9:00 - 18:00
Tuesday 18.5.2021 9:00 - 18:00
Wednesday 19.5.2021 9:00 - 18:00
Thursday 20.5.2021 9:00 - 18:00
Friday 21.5.2021 9:00 - 18:00
Tuesday 25.5.2021 9:00 - 18:00
Wednesday 26.5.2021 9:00 - 18:00
Thursday 27.5.2021 9:00 - 18:00
Friday 28.5.2021 9:00 - 18:00

Wednesday 24.03. 14:30 - 16:30 Digital


Aims, contents and method of the course

It is the aim of this course to provide students with a broad base-line knowledge of the theory and methods required to monitor pollinators both for scientific and conservation related purposes. Through the inclusion of lectures, practical sessions and independent research projects, students familiarize themselves with different state-of-the-art techniques in plant reproductive research and are capable of performing pollination monitoring independently at the end of the course.

Pollinators act as important selective agents on flowers and have contributed significantly to the diversity of angiosperms. Also, pollination provides a crucial ecosystem function and severe pollinator declines in agricultural landscapes occur worldwide.
In this course, we will cover both the theoretical background of pollinator mediated selection, floral evolution, plant reproductive strategies and pollinator diversity as well as the methodological toolkit to studying these questions in the lab and in the field.
- Flower morphology
- Adaptations to different pollinators (flower shape, colour, rewards, scent), pollination syndromes
- Systematic overview of important pollinators in temperate Europe
- Impact of pollinator declines and changes in pollinator communities

We will use a combination of short introductory lectures to different topics, followed by hands-on practical sessions. Students will get training in the methods required to study floral adaptations and monitor pollinator assemblages and identify different insect taxa. After this training period, students will perform their own small research project within the frame of this course where they can employ some of the methods and are subsequently guided through the steps of data analyses and presentation of the results.

Methods include:
- Monitoring pollinators in the field
- Insect identification
- Overview of structural methods to study flowers (Scanning Electron Microscopy, Light Microscopy)
- Scent collection and analyses
- Studying flower colour
- Quantifying and measuring floral nectar
- Manipulation of floral traits
- Bagging experiments of flowers

Assessment and permitted materials

1) active participation during the entire course
2) presentation of course project
3) written report of course project

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

20 points:
participation - 5 points
presentation of course project - 3 points
written report of course project - 12 points

20 - 19: 1 (Sehr gut)
18 - 17: 2 (Gut)
16 - 15: 3 (Befriedigend)
14 - 13: 4 (Genügend)
12 - 0: 5 (Nicht genügend)

Examination topics

Reading list

We will present a selection of pollination biological books and recent papers at the first course meeting.

Association in the course directory

MBO 5, MEC-9, MZO 2, UF MA BU 1

Last modified: Mo 01.03.2021 09:09