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EAS 513 Terrestrial Ecosystems (WS)

Course Title

Terrestrial Ecosystems (WS)

Course Code

EAS 513

Course Type




Year / Semester


Instructor’s Name

 Adriana Bruggeman (Lead Instructor), Hakan Djuma



Lectures / week

 1 (3hr)

Laboratories / week


Course Purpose and Objectives

 Purpose: The development of climate adaptation options and sustainable natural resources management systems requires a solid understanding of terrestrial ecosystems. This includes the interactions between the terrestrial biosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere, and biogeochemical cycles. This course uses an interdisciplinary framework to understand the interactions between terrestrial ecosystems and environmental processes. It reviews basic meteorological, hydrological, and ecological concepts and their mathematical formulations to examine the physical, chemical, and biological processes by which terrestrial ecosystems affect and are affected by climate.

Objectives: This course aims to introduce the students to terrestrial ecosystems, their interactions with the environment and biogeochemical cycles. The students will gain a comprehensive understanding of the theoretical foundations, mathematical formulations and applications of terrestrial ecosystem models. To actively capture the new knowledge, students will work on practical exercises and apply and solve equations to describe and analyse ecosystems processes.

Learning Outcomes

 The course will review and discuss the below listed topics. By the end of the course, students will have obtained a broad understanding of the interactions between ecosystems and the environment. The students will also have gained practical skill in developing and applying equations to describe ecosystems processes.



 Required  None

Course Content

  • Climate change and the global biosphere
  • Terrestrial biosphere models
  • Quantitative description of ecosystems
  • Fundamentals of energy and mass transfer
  • Formulation of biological flux rates
  • Turbulent fluxes and scalar profiles in the surface layer
  • Surface energy fluxes
  • Soil temperature and soil moisture
  • Hydrologic scaling and spatial heterogeneity
  • Leaf temperature and energy fluxes
  • Leaf photosynthesis
  • Stomatal conductance and plant hydraulics
  • Radiative transfer
  • Plant canopies and profiles

Teaching Methodology

 Lectures and practical exercises


  • Bonan, Climate Change and Terrestrial Ecosystem Modeling, 2019, Cambridge University Press
  • Bonan, G. Ecological Climatology, Concepts and Applications, 3rd, 2016, Cambridge University Press
  • Recent journal articles


 Coursework (exercises) and final exam



Publications & Media