Search result: Catalogue data in Autumn Semester 2021

Agricultural Sciences Master Information
Major in Plant Sciences
Disciplinary Competences
Agriculture and Environment
NumberTitleTypeECTSHoursLecturers
751-5101-00LBiogeochemistry and Sustainable Management Information
Does not take place this semester.
W+2 credits2GW. Eugster, V. Klaus
AbstractThis course focuses on the interactions between ecology, biogeochemistry and management of agro- and forest ecosystems, thus, coupled human-environmental systems. Students learn how human impacts on ecosystems via management or global change are mainly driven by effects on biogeochemical cycles and thus ecosystem functioning, but also about feedback mechanisms of terrestrial ecosystems.
ObjectiveStudents will analyse and understand the complex and interacting processes of ecology, biogeochemistry and management of agroecosystems, be able to analyze large meteorological and flux data sets, and evaluate the impacts of weather events and management practices, based on real-life data. Moreover, students will be able to coordinate and work successfully in small (interdisciplinary) teams.
ContentAgroecosystems play a major role in all landscapes, either for production purposes, ecological areas or for recreation. The human impact of any management on the environment is mainly driven by effects on biogeochemical cycles. Effects of global change impacts will also act via biogeochemistry at the soil-biosphere-atmosphere-interface. Thus, ecosystem functioning, i.e., the interactions between ecology, biogeochemistry and management of terrestrial systems, is the science topic for this course.

Students will gain profound knowledge about biogeochemical cycles and greenhouse gas fluxes in managed grassland and/or cropland ecosystems. Responses of agroecosystems to the environment, i.e., to climate and weather events, but also to management will be studied. Different meteorological and greenhouse gas flux data will be analysed (using R) and assessed in terms of production, greenhouse gas budgets and carbon sequestration. Thus, students will learn about the complex interactions of a coupled human-environmental system.

Students will work with real-life data from the long-term measurement network Swiss FluxNet. Data from the intensively managed grassland site Chamau will be used to investigate the biosphere-atmosphere exchange of CO2, H2O, N2O and CH4. Functional relationships will be identified, greenhouse gas budgets will be calculated for different time periods and in relation to management over the course of a year.
Lecture notesHandouts will be available on the webpage of the course.
LiteratureWill be discussed in class.
Prerequisites / NoticePrerequisites: Attendance of introductory courses in plant ecophysiology, ecology, and grassland or forest sciences. Knowledge of data analyses in R and statistics. Course will be taught in English.
751-3405-00LChemical Nature of Nutrients and their Availability to Plants: The Case of Phosphorus Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 15.
Priority will be given to students in Agricultural Sciences
W+4 credits4GE. Frossard, L. P. Schönholzer, M. Wiggenhauser
AbstractThe course discusses the mechanistic relationships between nutrient speciation in fertilizer and nutrient uptake by plants using phosphorus as an example. The course involves theoretical aspects of nutrient cycling, laboratory work, data analysis and presentation, and the use of advanced methods in plant nutrition studies.
ObjectiveAt the end of this course, participants will obtain a mechanistic understanding of why and how the speciation of phosphorus in fertilizer can affect its release to the soil solution and subsequent uptake by plants. Students will be able to use this information for the development of fertilization schemes that maximize the nutrient uptake and fertilizer efficiency of crops or pastures. During the course, participants will become familiar with the use of radioisotopes and nuclear magnetic resonance as approaches to measure nutrient availability and forms, respectively and they will know the limits of these techniques. Students will also have the opportunity to improve their laboratory and communication skills.
Lecture notesDocuments will be distributed during the lecture.
LiteratureDocuments will be distributed during the lecture.
Prerequisites / NoticeThe lecture will take place at the ETH experimental station in Eschikon Lindau. See the location of the station at: Link
We strongly advise students who are planning to be absent for more than one week during the semester NOT to visit this course.
Students must have visited the plant nutrition lectures in the 3rd and 6th semesters and the lecture pedosphere in the 3rd semester of the agricultural study program of the ETH (or bring an equivalent knowledge). This knowledge is indispensable for this 7th semester.
751-5125-00LStable Isotope Ecology of Terrestrial Ecosystems Information Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 20.
W+2 credits2GR. A. Werner, N. Buchmann, A. Gessler, M. Lehmann
AbstractThis course provides an overview about the applicability of stable isotopes (carbon 13C, nitrogen 15N, oxygen 18O and hydrogen 2H) to process-oriented ecological research. Topics focus on stable isotopes as indicators for the origin of pools and fluxes, partitioning of composite fluxes as well as to trace and integrate processes. In addition, students carry out a small project during lab sessions.
ObjectiveStudents will be familiar with basic and advanced applications of stable isotopes in studies on plants, soils, water and trace gases, know the relevant approaches, concepts and recent results in stable isotope ecology, know how to combine classical and modern techniques to solve ecophysiological or ecological problems, learn to design, carry out and interpret a small IsoProject, practice to search and analyze literature as well as to give an oral presentation.
ContentThe analyses of stable isotopes often provide insights into ecophysiological and ecological processes that otherwise would not be available with classical methods only. Stable isotopes proved useful to determine origin of pools and fluxes in ecosystems, to partition composite fluxes and to integrate processes spatially and temporally.

This course will provide an introduction to the applicability of stable isotopes to ecological research questions. Topics will focus on carbon (13C), nitrogen (15N), oxygen (18O) and hydrogen (2H) at natural isotope abundance and tracer levels. Lectures will be supplemented by intensive laboratory sessions, short presentations by students and computer exercises.
Lecture notesHandouts will be available on the webpage of the course.
LiteratureWill be discussed in class.
Prerequisites / NoticeThis course is based on fundamental knowledge about plant ecophysiology, soil science, and ecology in general. Course will be taught in English.
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