BOTN12010 - Botany of Aquatic Environments

General Information

Unit Synopsis

This unit is a study of the systematics, physiology and ecology of photosynthetic life of aquatic environments, including the cyanoprokaryotes (Domain Bacteria) dinoflagellates (Kingdom Alveolata), diatoms and brown algae (Kingdom Stramenopila), red algae (Kingdom Rhodophyta), green algae, and freshwater and marine plants (Kingdom Plantae). Brief mention is also made of the mosses and ferns. It provides an introduction to these groups, emphasising their morphology, evolutionary pattern and ecological importance. Field studies are undertaken as part requirement of the unit.


Level Undergraduate
Unit Level 2
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band SCA Band 2
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites

BOTN11004 Foundation Plant Biology or BIOL11099 Living Systems

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

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Residential School Compulsory Residential School
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Unit Availabilities from Term 1 - 2024

There are no availabilities for this unit on or after Term 1 - 2024

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task Weighting
1. In-class Test(s) 16%
2. Written Assessment 17%
3. Practical and Written Assessment 17%
4. Examination 50%
5. On-campus Activity 0%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%).

Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades

Past Exams

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Previous Feedback

Term 2 - 2019 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 4.5 (on a 5 point Likert scale), based on a 42.86% response rate.

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Source: "Have your say" feedback on Moodle.
Students enjoyed residential school and the addition of experts in the presentation of the residential school.
Continue to present residential school in its current format.
Action Taken
Residential school was presented in a similar fashion to previous years.
Source: "Have your say" feedback on Moodle.
Students noted that with the changes in algal taxonomy, some changes are required to learning resources.
Changes are currently being made to the learning resources.
Action Taken
Changes were made to the learning resources in 2019.
Source: "Have your say" feedback on Moodle.
Students enjoyed the residential school overall, particularly the addition of experts in the presentation of sections. However, some students commented that the residential school could be streamlined.
Continue to present residential school in its current format. Consider possibility of streamlining flow of residential school.
Action Taken
Source: "Have your say" feedback on Moodle.
Due to drought conditions, some students commented that the aquatic plant collection in this unit was difficult to complete.
During drought periods, consider providing designated time during residential school for plant collection, or allowing more flexibility in types of aquatic plants required for the assessment piece.
Action Taken
Unit learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  1. A knowledge of the major groups of photosynthetic life in aquatic habitats such that you can explain their systematics and phylogenetic relationships and the ability to classify and identify members of these groups using the keys discussed in the unit.
  2. A knowledge of the ecology of aquatic photosynthetic life such that you can outline how their anatomy, physiology and life cycles are interrelated, how they are adapted to their particular habitats and explain how this relates to the management of aquatic environments.
  3. Field and laboratory skills in the techniques of collection, beginning level identification, accurate enumeration and growth of representatives of the groups.

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3
1 - In-class Test(s)
2 - Written Assessment
3 - Practical and Written Assessment
4 - Examination
5 - On-campus Activity
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3
1 - Communication
2 - Problem Solving
3 - Critical Thinking
4 - Information Literacy
5 - Team Work
6 - Information Technology Competence
7 - Cross Cultural Competence
8 - Ethical practice
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10