This course is part of the programme
Bachelor's programme in Environment (first cycle)

Objectives and competences

Course of ecology deals with the interactions between environmental factors and organisms, provides fundamental properties of the population ecology and interspecific relationships, and deals with the concept of communities and ecosystems. Distinct emphasis is on describing the structural, spatial and temporal dynamics within each level of ecological level (species, populations, communities, ecosystem, biome, the biosphere) as well as between different levels (e.g. the impact of changes in ecosystem characteristics of biological communities and population dynamics of organisms which compose such a community). The discussed issues are given in a very systemic way, which allows students a comprehensive understanding of the direct and indirect reciprocally but inseparable material, energy and information interactions between biotic and abiotic environmental factors. Course content allows students to develop a critical attitude towards anthropogenic-induced changes in ecological systems (from organism to biosphere), and enables them to apply the obtained new knowledge for development of sustainable management with ecological systems.


The content of the course integrates and upgrades subjects of biology, geology, meteorology and hydrology.


• Introduction
• Physical environment
• The organism and its environment
• Populations
• Relations between species
• The community
• Ecosystem
• Ecological biogeography
• Human ecology

Intended learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding:
Students will gain the ability to connect different levels of abiotic systems, they will understand their mutual and reciprocal interactions which will enable them to identify responses of ecological systems (from species to ecosystem) to changes of environmental factors. The acquired knowledge will enable them to design measures to reduce or eliminate undesirable impacts and to development new approaches that will help to improve the state of affected ecological systems. By this means, they will take into account the contents of other complementary courses in order to address ecological problems holistically and to develop their appropriate systemic solutions.


• Smith, T. S., Smith, R. L., 2013. Elements of Ecology (8th edition), International edition, Benjamin Cummings, San Francisco, Boston, 688 str. Catalogue E-version
• Odum, E. P., 2005. Fundamentals of Ecology – 5th edition. 624 str. E-version
• Tome, D., 2006. Ekologija. Tehniška založba Slovenije 344 str. Catalogue
• Tarman, K., 1992. Osnove ekologije in ekologije živali. DZS, Ljubljana, 547 str. Katalog
• Selected scientific articles discussed as part of seminar exercises


Field work report (15 %); Seminar (25 %); Written exam (60 %)

Lecturer's references

Associate Professor of Ecology at the University of Nova Gorica

DEBELJAK, Marko, POLJANEC, Aleš, ŽENKO, Bernard. Modelling forest growing stock from inventory data : a data mining approach. Ecological indicators, ISSN 1470-160X, jun. 2014, vol. 41, str. 30-39, doi: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2014.01.010. [COBISS.SI-ID 27499559]

DEBELJAK, Marko, TRAJANOV, Aneta, STOJANOVA, Daniela, LEPRINCE, Florence, DŽEROSKI, Sašo. Using relational decision trees to model out-crossing rates in a multi-field setting. V: JORDÁN, Ferenc (ur.), SCOTTI, Marco (ur.). Proceedigs of the 7th ECEM, European Conference on Ecological Modelling, 30 May - 2 June 2011, Riva el Garda, Italy, (Ecological modelling, ISSN 0304-3800, vol. 245, 2012). Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2012, vol. 245, str. 75-83, doi: 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2012.04.015. [COBISS.SI-ID 25848103]
tipologija 1.08 -> 1.01

CORTET, Jérôme, KOCEV, Dragi, DUCOBU, Caroline, DŽEROSKI, Sašo, DEBELJAK, Marko, SCHWARTZ, Christophe. Using data mining to predict soil quality after application of biosolids in agriculture. Journal of environmental quality, ISSN 0047-2425, 2011, vol. 40, no. 6, str. 1972-1982, doi:10.2134/jeq2011.0155. [COBISS.SI-ID 25336615]

DEBELJAK, Marko, SQUIRE, Geoff R., KOCEV, Dragi, HAWES, Cathy, YOUNG, Marc W., DŽEROSKI, Sašo. Analysis of time series data on agroecosystem vegetation using predictive clustering trees. V: LAROCQUE, Guy R. (ur.). Proceedigs of the Ecological modelling for enhanced sustainability in management, ISEM 2009, October 6-9, 2009, Québec, Canada, (Ecological modelling, ISSN 0304-3800, vol. 222, no. 14, 2011). Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2011, vol. 222, no. 14, str. 2524-2529, doi: 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2010.10.021. [COBISS.SI-ID 24218407]
tipologija 1.08 -> 1.01

DEBELJAK, Marko, KOCEV, Dragi, TOWERS, W., JONES, M., GRIFFITHS, Bryan, HALLETT, P. Potential of multi-objective models for risk-based mapping of the resilience characteristics of soils : demonstration at a national level. Soil use and management, ISSN 0266-0032, 2009, vol. 25, no. 1, str. 66-77. [COBISS.SI-ID 22691623]