Course code BIO324

BIO324 Plant adaptation to climate and pollution

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2016 - 2017 .

Course responsible: Åshild Gunilla Ergon
Teachers: Sissel Torre, Aasmund Bjørnstad, Jorunn Elisabeth Olsen, Odd Arne Rognli
ECTS credits: 10
Faculty: Faculty of Biosciences
Teaching language: EN, NO
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Teaching exam periods:
This course starts in Spring parallel. This course has teaching/evaluation in Spring parallel.
Course frequency: Annually
First time: Study year 2012-2013
Course contents:
Climatic factors and distribution of plant species. Effects of climatic factors, climate change and pollution on plant function, growth and development. Direct effects and responses to temperature, water, light, carbon dioxide and pollutants. Phenotypic plasticity and genetic adaptation to climate change and pollution.
Learning outcome:

The course will provide broad knowledge on how plants respond and adapt to climatic factors and pollution. This includes acclimation (how plants perceive seasonal and other environmental cues and adapt phenotypically) and adaptation in the longer time scales of evolution and breeding. The obtained knowledge will enable students to better understand which effects climate change and pollution may have on plants in natural ecosystems and in food production, and how we may approach problems and possibilities related to plants and climate change and pollution.


  • Can depfine and and discuss the meaning of relevant terms as for example acclimation, phenotypic plasticity, adaptation, stress, resistance, tolerance. Can give examples of such phenomena. 
  • Can describe and explain how temperature, light, CO2 concentration, salt and pollutants affect physiological processes, cause stress, and regulate growht and development. Can describe and explain interactions in the effects that these factors have on plants.
  • Can describe acclimation processes
  • Can explain how different traits and mechanisms makes a plant adapted or not adapted to certain climatic conditions or pollutants
  • Can describe and explain how climate change affect and are expected to affect geographical distribution of species and vegetation, phenology and plant production
  • Can discuss the role that life strategy, acclimation, phenotypic plasticity and genetic variation has for natural plant populations, and plant breeding, in a climate change perspective


  • Can take part in dicussions of themes related to plants, climate and pollution, and base this on scientific literature

General competence

  • Can read, understand and communicate scientific literature
Learning activities:
Lectures. Colloquia were students present and discuss relevant literature.
Teaching support:
Communication via Fronter and e-mail

Willey (2016). Environmental plant physiology. Garland Science. ISBN 978-0-8153-4469-8. Chapter 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15

Selected chapters from other books and review papers

Genetics (BIO120), plant physiology (BOT200)
Recommended prerequisites:
Mandatory activity:
All students must present a scientific paper in the colloquia. The presentation must be approved. Students are expected to attend each others presentations and to take part in a discussion (group work) after the presentations.
Final oral exam counts 100%.
Nominal workload:
300 hours
Entrance requirements:
Special requirements in Science
Type of course:

2-4 hours per week

Lectures: Approx. 20 hours in total

Guest lectures: Approx. 6 hours in total

Student presentations and group discsussions: Approx. 14 hours in total

External examiner
Examination details: Oral exam: A - E / Ikke bestått