Applied System Ecology

Semester 5th Semester BSc ETHZ Autumn semester

Lecturer Dr. Arthur Gessler (WSL),


Ecosystem Complexity and Function

To demonstrate and “experience” (through case studies) the complexity of
interactions and structures in ecosystems: Ecosystem processes, functions
and services interact and feed back across multiple spatio-temporal scales.

To analyse biogeochemical cycles: the role of ecosystem structures and
trophic interactions between organisms.

To show how biodiversity and the interaction between organisms is an
integral part of ecosystems, and how the link between biodiversity and
process/function/service is rarely fully understood.

Ecosystems & Society – the Human-Environment System

To understand the importance of ecosystem services for society.

To provide a learning experience of the complexity of environmental decision
making by exploring applied environmental questions together.

To reflect on ecology as a young discipline at the heart of significant applied

Ecological Methods

To get an overview of the methods of ecosystem research, and provide an
exemplary deeper insight into some of them, namely ecosystem observation,
manipulation and modelling.