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Biological Monitoring, 15 cr

BIOR39 / TEK105

Course description

The main objective of this course is that you learn to optimise time in the field in order to obtain maximum information about the conditions and status of the natural environment. Monitoring of nature is based on that the investigator knows what change is expected and can construct a programme, including collection of data and material, which can detect a particular change. You may also do a general documentation of the area/environment nature if you don’t know the expected change. In this course, general methods in monitoring programmes and documentations are treated in lectures and seminars. You will asses old inventories and learn how to use different maps and in what respects these differ. In addition, various specific methods for inventory of different organismsare treated in lectures and field exercises.


During the course a substantial amount of time is spent in the field. We will have day-, evening/night- and morning excursions, but no overnight stays. During the field work you will learn e.g. how to interpret aerial photos, measure tree and bush layers, and how to use GPS and other gauges. During the two evening/night excursion we look at bats and determine the demand of habitats for frogs in small ponds. In an early morning excursion you will learn methods for making an inventory of birds. You will also visit different types of vegetation and learn to classify these according to different vegetation classification systems. We discuss differences between methods in describing nature and relate these methods to specific aims, e.g. write a management plan, analyse if increased nitrogen fall-out will change vegetation, or determine how many suitable nesting trees there are for birds.

Field exercise

We also carry out a field exercise in small groups, each with a different objective. From the objective you will decide what to do in field, and which variables and characteristics you need to measure and describe. At the end you present your study in a seminar, with opposition and defence.

Project work

The objective of the project is to compare the use of different sampling methods for the same organism. You work in a group and may choose anything between plants, spiders, birds, frogs etc.


Halfway through the course there is a seminar-test. The course ends with a written test in the field.

And then…

If you want to work in a municipality or county administrative board this is a course for you. In combination with Nature Conservation (BIOR23) and Conservation Biology (BIOR37) you will have an excellent base for working with nature conservation problems. Other good complementary courses are GIS courses, courses in floristics and faunistics, or Mosses, Lichens, Fungi – Biodiversity and Conservation (BIOR11).

Application and Prerequisites at Lund University course database

Syllabus (pdf)

Page Manager:

Study coordinator

Lotta Persmark
Study advisor
Education office

Telehone: +46 46-222 37 28
E-mail: Lotta.Persmark [at]

Course coordinator

Olof Hellgren

Telephone: +46 46-222 17 83
E-mail: Olof.Hellgren [at]

Course literature

See the schedule

Course period

The course is offered during the second part of the spring term.The language of instruction is English.


Schedule for the course Biological Monitoring (pdf; 58 kB)

Resit exam occasions

Resit exams