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Patterns in Biodiversity


Admission requirements

Course is part of the minor Biodiversity and Natural Environment.


The course Patterns in Biodiversity consists of four modules.
1. Introduction course – Biodiversity: what and why?
This is an introduction of a week on the theme of the minor. Also an introduction will be given on all the different modules of the minor. In addition attention will be paid to philosophical and societal aspects of biodiversity.

2. Biodiversity in the Dutch landscapes
This two-week module focuses on questions such as: Which Dutch landscapes can be distinguished and how are these landscapes created; what are the characteristics of these landscapes; what is the national and international importance of biodiversity in these landscapes; which factors have contributed to the biodiversity within these landscapes; which problems exist en what can be done to solve them?

3. Small-scale patterns of biodiversity
This four-week module focuses on four questions:
1. How can we describe biodiversity in a particular habitat in space and time?
2. Which processes underlie the patterns in biodiversity
3. How is biodiversity threatened and how can biodiversity best be protected?
4. What are the consequences of the changes in biodiversity for important ecosystem services?

4. Large-scale patterns of biodiversity
“How can biodiversity be mapped?” is a central question in this module. Attention will be paid to the biodiversity patterns in a selected group of ecologically important taxa (e.g. arthropods, mollusks, and land plants) and mapping of these patterns in space and time. For the selected groups their taxonomy, phylogeny and morphology will be studied. Biodiversity patterns of these groups will be studied in relation to important environmental factors and landscape types important for the Netherlands.

Course objectives

At the end of the minor, students have knowledge and understanding of:


From Monday 1 September 2014 till Friday 7 November 2014. A detailed schedule will be provided on Blackboard before the start of the course.

Mode of instruction

Lectures, self-study, practicals, excursions

Assessment method

Exams, assignments, reports


Blackboard will be used for communication and exchange of documents

Reading list

To be decided. Check Blackboard in August 2014.

Registration: via USiS and via Blackboard.

Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Prospective students website for information on how to apply.

Contact information

Course coordinator: Dr. M.C. Roos