BSc-courses Biodiversity 1, 2 & 3 and Training flora are advantageous
The tropics comprise a number of hotspots of global biodiversity: together they contain more than two third of vascular plant species worldwide with a density 10 times higher than the European flora. The tropics are home to many well known and economically important plant taxa, like yam, nutmeg, rattan, bananas, rambutan, meranti and cocoa. The botanical diversity of tropics is being documented in the NCB Naturalis in international projects, like Flora Malesiana, Flora of the Guianas and the Flore du Gabon. One of the aims of the NCB Naturalis is the knowledge transfer of plant diversity. That is why this course has been set up.
The recognition of many plant taxa in the field is often problematic, i.e. during collection expeditions, when doing ecological inventories, for studies on animal behavior, ethnobotanical research and for pollination and dispersal studies. Species diversity is high, only few plants are flowering and good floras are often not yet available.
An overview of the most important tropical plant families will be presented, including their diagnostic features and some characteristic genera. General aspects of tropical botany, including growth habits, pollination and dispersal, vegetations, morphological and anatomical back ground, are also introduced.
The participants will learn to recognize a selection of economically and ecologically important plant families with the help of generative (flower and fruit) and vegetative (leaf and bark) characters. Generally, two to three plant families will be treated per day. Specialists working at the NCB Naturalis will give lectures with ample illustrations about plant families of that day and some important genera. In addition to the traditional Floras, participants will also learn to use internet keys and several CDROMs (inter-active keys). During the practical the participants will be able to examine living, herbarium and alcohol preserved material. During excursions to the tropical greenhouses of the Leiden and Utrecht botanical gardens attention will be paid to collection techniques and field characteristics.
Knowledge of tropical plant taxa and tropical botany
Ability to identify tropical plant taxa and the argumentation for the diagnosis, using a wide array of source information.
January 9-29; details will be communicated in due time
Mode of instruction
lectures, demonstrations, literature study, excursions
Judd et al, Plant Systematics (2007); Simpson, Plant Systematics (2010); Corlett & Primack, Tropical Rain Forests: An Ecological and Biogeographical Comparison (2011)
All information of lectures and papers will be available on Blackboard.
Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Prospective students website for more information on how to apply.
Marco Roos: email firstname.lastname@example.org; Tinde van Andel: email email@example.com
Minimal 10 students