MSc Species Identification and Survey Skills - Modules
Vegetation Survey and Assessment
The ability to identify plants is a key skill for employment in the conservation, ecological consultancy and research sectors and a wide range of organisations. This module helps you develop advanced practical plant identification skills and an understanding of vegetation ecology with plenty of hands-on experience in the field and laboratory.
The module covers field skills in identification of non-vascular and vascular plants found in the UK and helps you to understand the biogeography and ecology of plants and vegetation. Students are introduced to the twenty most common UK plant families then gradually focus in to identify genera and species, using advanced identification keys and gaining practice in proper use of the hand lens and microscope skills.
Species identification skills are further developed through practical lab sessions where students identify bryophytes, ferns, conifers and flowering plants using microscopes and advanced botanical keys including Poland & Clement's Vegetative Key to the British Flora and Stace's New Flora of the British Isles.
Special focus is given to identification skills for some of the more challenging common plant families such as Poaceae and Cyperaceae.
Students who successfully complete this module come away with advanced plant ID skills for higher and lower plants and an understanding of the factors affecting the distribution and ecology of plants and vegetation in Britain.
Assignments include: plant ID tests in lab and field, construction and evaluation of a key and plant species reports.
This module is 20 credits, runs in the Autumn & Spring terms and is taught by Dr Jonathan Mitchley.
Supplementary teaching materials are provided by his dedicated botanical website Dr M Goes Wild.