BSc Plant Science with a Modern Language / Course details

Year of entry: 2022

Course unit details:
Human Impacts on the Biosphere (E)

Course unit fact file
Unit code BIOL31551
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by School of Biological Sciences
Available as a free choice unit? No


You will examine how humans impinge on the biosphere through an examination of the impact of key topics including: envrironmental impacts of mineral extraction and radioactive wastes, enironmental impact of agriculture, urbanisation on water quality, and environmental impact of air pollution from road transport.

Recommended reading

Mostly primary research literature based with articles and links provided on Blackboard. The following are also recommended.

  • Williams, A E, Waterfall, R J, White, K N & Hendry, K (2010) Manchester Ship Canal and Salford Quays: industrial legacy and ecological restoration. In: Ecology of Industrial Pollution (ed: Batty, L C and Hallberg, K B). Cambridge University Press, 276-308.
  • Paul, M.J. and Meyer, J.L. (2001) Streams in an urban landscape. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics, 32, 333-365.
  • Wilkiins et al (2012) How is ozone pollution reducing our food supply? J. Exp. Bot. 63 (2): 527-536.
  • Lee et al (2012) Effects of roads on adjacent plant community composition and ecosystem function: An example from three calcareous ecosystems Environmental Pollution 163 (2012) 273e280
  • Peralta-Videa JR, Lopez ML, Narayan M, Saupe G, Gardea-Torresdey J. (2009) The biochemistry of environmental heavy metal uptake by plants: implications for the food chain. Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 41(8-9):1665-77
  • Conesa HM, Evangelou MW, Robinson BH, Schulin R. (2012) A critical view of current state of phytotechnologies to remediate soils: still a promising tool? Scientific World Journal. 2012:173829
  • Tscharntke T, Clough Y, Wanger TC, Jackson L, Motzke I, Perfecto I, Vandermeer J, Whitbread A. 2012. Global food security, biodiversity conservation and the future of agricultural intensification. Biological Conservation 151(1): 53-59.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment written exam 2
Lectures 18
Independent study hours
Independent study 80

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Jon Pittman Unit coordinator

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