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Soil and Plant Ecology BIOR78

15 credits

Student taking a picture of a plant. Photo.

In the course Soil and Plant Ecology we explore the intersection of biological, chemical, and geological processes that shape the soil environment. In an era of unprecedented human-induced environmental change, research in this field is advancing rapidly. 

The course explores the processes underlying biogeochemical cycles of carbon and nutrients, soil formation and erosion, and we examine how human activities alter these processes. Topics include microbial and plant-mediated carbon and nutrient cycling, the role of biological diversity in biogeochemical processes, the importance of mycorrhiza for plant nutrition, soil food webs, and exploration into how new techniques are advancing studies of the soil environment.

Format and objectives

Beyond lectures, the course consists of project work (individually and in groups), an excursion, and an extensive laboratory exercise aimed at characterizing soils chemically and biologically. The course is designed to facilitate critical discussion and analysis of various soil processes, and improve research, dissemination, and presentation skills.

Autumn period 1

Full-time, on campus, in English


You will find information about application, prerequisites and the syllabus at Lund University's central web pages.

Course literature, 2024

The nature and properties of soil. (2016). 15'th int. ed., Weil, R.R., Brady, N.C. Pearson education limited. ISBN 9781292162232. Available as course copies
Soil Microbiology, ecology, and biochemistry (2023) 5 ed, Paul, E.A . Elsevier. ISBN: 9780128229415. Available as e-resource from the Biology Library.
Plants and vegetation: origins, processes, consequences (2007) Keddy, P.A. Cambridge university press. ISBN: 9780521864800. Available as e-resource from the Biology Library.


The latest schedule for the course Soil and Plant Ecology in the schedule software TimeEdit.


You will find the latest evaluation on our web page with course evaluations.


Lotta Persmark, Study advisor, biology and bioinformatics

Telephone: +46 46 222 37 28
EmailLotta [dot] Persmark [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se (Lotta[dot]Persmark[at]biol[dot]lu[dot]se)