Kód kurzu: 


Plant-Animal Interactions (KBE 049)


Lecturers: Jana Jersáková, Štěpán Janeček, Lukáš Čížek, Petr Klimeš

6 credits

Course is running in the summer term in academic years starting with an odd year (e.g. 2019/2020)

Course is ideal for doctoral and master students.


Course objectives:

  • Familiarize students with the current literature, mechanisms, and conceptual bases of herbivory, pollination, seed dispersal, plant carnivory, and plant defense
  • Promote conversant understanding of these through verbal debate and discussion
  • To understand and practice the scientific methods during field experience

Course schedule:


Fruit, seed and dispersal ecology (mutualism and antagonism, fruits as food, seed predators, mimetism in seed dispersal)


Herbivory I.  Insect herbivory (antagonism, plant defense: structural and chemical, physiological and ethological response of herbivores, generalization and specialization of herbivores, plant defense syndromes)


Herbivory II. Mammalian herbivory (antagonism, impact of mammalian herbivores on composition and structure of plant communities, adaptation of mammalian herbivores on plants, toxic secondary metabolites, mutualism – grasses and grazers)


Mutualistic and antagonistic ant-plant interactions (pollination, extrafloral nectaries, food bodies, domatia, myrmecochory, herbivory, defense and plant nutrition)


Introduction to evolution & coevolution of plant-animal interactions (interspecific interactions, evolution of biodiversity, history of plant-animal interactions)


Pollination I. Introduction to pollination (floral morphology, pollination and fertilization, pollen transport, advantages and disadvantages of zoogamy, Mating strategies and sexual systems (floral traits promoting outcrossing (herkogamy, dichogamy, dioecy, incompatibility systems) and reproductive assurance (delayed selfing, cleistogamy, floral longevity)


Pollination II. Plant-insect interactions (specialization versus generalization, pollination networks, pollinator effectiveness, pollination in various habitats)


Pollination III. Pollination syndromes – Why are flowers different? (historical context, overview of pollination syndrome types, evidence for/against pollination syndromes), Vertebrate pollination – birds and bats (geographical pattern, physiological and morphological adaptations to nectarivory, unusual vertebrate pollination systems (lizards, non-flying mammals)


Pollination IV. Floral signals (visual cues – colour, size, shape – visual models, colour discrimination, nectar guides, colour change, floral display)


Pollination V. Floral signals (olfactory cues – floral scent: How and what pollinators smell?, diversity of roles played by floral scent, variation in floral scent, sexual signaling, innate predispositions)


Pollination VI. Floral rewards (nectar, pollen, oil, floral fragrances, wax and resins, shelter, nectar composition and pollinator guilds, pollinators vs. nectar robbers: consequences for plant reproductive success and floral traits selection)


Pollination VII. Floral mimetism (deceptive behaviour, types of deceptions, advergent evolution, continuum between generalized and specialized deception, How much similarity is needed to be a good mimic?)


class discussions using selected papers on a particular topic


class discussions using selected papers on a particular topic


Content of practicals: students will carry out small projects within the topics of plant-animal interactions.

The task includes setting up a hypothesis, selection of a suitable research tool, data analysis and presentation to other students during 3 day excursion on limestone outcrops near Český Krumlov.

The date will be selected upon joint decision, but usually it takes place during June.

Studijní materiály (viditelné po přihlášení)