Environmental and Geospatial Sciences: BIOL 1015: Sustainable Ecosystems

By JJ Harrison (jjharrison89@facebook.com) - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10365439

BIOL 1015: Sustainable Ecosystems

This page will help you get started on the Major Project for BIOL 1015: Sustainable Ecosystems.

Assessment 2 for Biol 1015: Sustainable Ecosystems is a Site Survey.

Before you begin, it is strongly recommended that you:

  • read the assessment instructions available on your learnonline course site.
  • read the Biological Survey Methods (BSM) - practical manual and major assignment document on your course homepage.

Referencing- Austral Ecology Style

Please read through read the Biological Survey Methods (BSM) - practical manual and major assignment document on your course homepage.

It contains information about the Referencing Style you need to use. It describes that you need to:

Cite reference to published or unpublished sources (surname and year) just after statement in the precise format of citations in Austral Ecology. References must be listed in Section 7, alphabetically by author surname.

If you use EndNote, you can download the Austral Ecology style

Plan your search

Before you start searching it is important to plan your search.

While this assignment doesn't have a question to address, the assignment instructions outline a number of topics that need to be addressed. It may be helpful to plan a search for each of these topics to ensure you get relevant results.

To get started, follow the steps below

1. Define any terms you are unsure of. Use an introductory book, dictionary, encyclopedia, handbook or website.

2. Identify main concepts in your topics. These will help you form your searches. For example, for the topic "Biological survey":

  • Concept 1: biological survey
  • Concept 2: conservation

3. Identify any synonyms or similar keywords for each main concept. You may find it helpful to put these in a table.

Concept 1 "biological survey", "field site"
Concept 2 conservation, sustainability

4. Add in any:

  • Word plurals: plant, plants
  • Different word forms: biology, biological
    • try biolog* to find various forms
  • Hyphenated words: pre-European Flora v preEuropean FLora
  • Different word spellings: organisation, organization
    • try organi?ation to find the variations
  • Common acronyms: South Australia or SA

Once you have identified your key concepts, you need to combine them using AND & OR.

1. OR is used to connect synonyms or similar terms for the same concept.
For example:

Concept 1 "biological survey" OR "biodiversity survey"
Concept 2 sustainable OR conservation OR care

2. AND is used to connect different concepts.
For example:

Concept 1  "biological survey" OR "biodiversity survey"
Concept 2 sustainable OR conservation OR care

3. You can also use:

  • Quotation marks " " to keep words together to search for a phrase.
  • Asterisk * to search for word variations, e.g. biolog* will find biology, biological, etc.
  • Brackets ( ) to keep groups of synonyms together, e.g. (sustainable OR conservation OR care).

More help:

Start your search

The Library catalogue is a good place to start your search. You can use it to find journal articles, papers, book chapters, and reports.

To search in the Library catalogue:

1. Type your main concepts into the search box

  • Tip: use double quotes to keep concepts together as a phrase.

2. Broaden your search by adding synonyms using the connector OR

  • Tip: Use brackets (...) to group synonyms together.

3. Apply filters by using the 'Tweak my results' menu (left side).

  • Tip: You may want to limit your results by adding a date range filter.


More help:

Library databases are online collections of resources which you can use to find articles, papers, book chapters and reports that aren't listed in the Library catalogue. Try ProQuest Biological Science Database.

To search in ProQuest Biological Science Database

1. Type your first concept and its synonyms into the advanced search box

  • Tip: use double quotes to keep concepts together as a phrase.

2. Select + Add a row and add your second concept into the search box

3. Refine your search by using the "Refine" menu (left side).

  • Tip: You may want to limit your results by adding a date range filter.

Try using Google Scholar to find scholarly sources or material from education and government websites.


To use the Advanced Scholar Search:

  1. Access Google Scholar through the Library homepage.
  2. Click the Menu button in the top left corner.
  3. Select Advanced Search to access more searching options.
  4. Look for PDF links or 'Fulltext at UniSA' links to access the resource.


More help:

What is biodiversity and why is it important?

What is a Biological Survey?

Biological surveys are a key method for collecting information. The Department for the Environment and Water (DEW) collects detailed information on the size, distribution, abundance, growth, birth rates and mortality for species of plants and animals - threatened or common, pests or endemic - in marine and terrestrial environments.

The Biological Survey of South Australia has been systematically surveying the vegetation and vertebrate fauna of South Australia since 1971 and has covered most of the state's biogeographic regions.

The surveys aim to substantially improve our knowledge of the biodiversity of South Australia, as well as improve our ability to adequately manage nature conservation into the future and measure the direction of long-term ecological change.

The purpose of biological surveys include:

  • determine the distribution of plant and terrestrial vertebrate species throughout the state
  • systematically survey the range of major habitats via quadrat-based sampling
  • collect additional opportunistic data by active searching away from established quadrats
  • assess vegetation and fauna condition
  • establish base line data for future monitoring
  • produce structural and floristic vegetation maps
  • compile biological data from a range of sources
  • improve land management and conservation decisions.

To ensure that this information is collected as consistently as possible, detailed survey manuals have been produced. They cover the Vegetation Survey and Vertebrate Survey techniques required to enable the data collected to contribute to the Biological Databases of South Australia.

(this information was reused from this site - here)

Study Help - Plan Your Search